Are Tech IPOs on the Rebound?

Posted on February 21, 2007

Bloggers are discussion Business 2.0's decision to announce and celebrate the return of Tech IPOs.

For the first six years of the century, the dream of building a technology company and taking it public was out of reach for all but a few lucky entrepreneurs.

Getting bought by a company with deep pockets (like Google (Charts) or eBay (Charts)) became the norm - and with the exception of a few standout startups (like YouTube or Skype), even that endgame didn't produce eye-popping returns.

Get ready for a tidal shift. Judging by the number of companies that have already filed or indicated that they might, 2007 is shaping up to be the biggest year for initial public offerings in the tech world since the end of the dotcom bubble in 2000.

Just what we need another period of irrational exuberance. Looking at Business 2.0's IPO on-deck list there isn't anything Web 2.0 related but if there are going to be more IPOs than chances are you will see one eventually. That is if the story is even accurate. Larry Dignan at Between the Lines points out that the number of IPOs has been pretty low with only 30 far. Dignan writes, "In a nutshell, tech IPOs better step on the gas. My hunch is the number of tech IPOs will be lucky to beat the 2004 mark."

Mathew Ingram compares the IPO story to articles found in fashion and women's magazines.

In fact, the Business 2.0 article reads like something out of a magazine you might find in a hair salon or at the supermarket checkout, with headlines like "Short skirts are back!" and "10 ways to tell if he's cheating!" and so on. Then we get the obligatory nod to the irrational exuberance crowd: "To be sure, smooth sailing on Nasdaq is never guaranteed," the story says. Gee, ya think? And then it's on to the six companies that are "likely to strike it rich!" Terrific.
Business 2.0 probably wouldn't get as many readers if they titled the article, "Burn Rates: They're back!" but that's something start-ups should be focusing on a lot more than the slim chance of going public.

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