Archive for May 6th, 2009

A giant investment dilemma is coming into play as of late – the market, Silicon Valley especially, is running short on IPO candidates. The jackpots including Intel, Apple, Netscape, eBay, Yahoo and Google are all history by now. With few candidates, the payoffs look smaller and the real problem shows – where will the money come from for new investments?

Here are a good analysis taken from Silicon Valley.com.

“So how might a Facebook or LinkedIn IPO perform when the time is right? Or what will Skype’s IPO look like, assuming eBay proceeds with plans to spin it out in 2010 as a separate company?

“We’re seeing a rebuilding and stabilization of the IPO market, so that Silicon Valley firms will be able to participate.” said Jeff Grabow of the accounting firm Ernst & Young’s San Jose office, which issued its quarterly U.S. IPO Pipeline report Tuesday.”

It continues…

“The IPO is vital to the valley’s economy, promising a potential jackpot for VCs that compensates for investments that don’t pan out. Not so long ago, the valley seemed to pop out an IPO every few weeks. But since early 2008, the pipeline has been more like a sieve. The venture industry is now pushing for tax breaks and regulatory relief from Washington to revive the market.

Ernst & Young’s report offers a snapshot of the situation. Privately held companies get in the IPO pipeline by filing S-1 forms with the Securities and Exchange Commission that signal their plans to sell stock on public markets. There were 57 companies in the pipeline Dec. 31, but only 44 on March 30.

In the first quarter, 16 companies exited the pipeline — only two made Wall Street debuts. Among the others, 10 registrations had surpassed the one-year expiration for inclusion in the study, which suggests they may just be biding their time in a chilly market. Three registrants withdrew their S-1s, and one postponed. Three companies filed S-1s, including San Francisco-based OpenTable, the online restaurant reservation service.

When OpenTable filed in January, it seemed like wishful thinking in such a dreadful economy. Because SEC rules require “a quiet period” for companies that file for IPO, I couldn’t ask CEO Jeff Jordan why OpenTable was making such a move. How good could the restaurant business be with credit crunched and people pinching pennies?”

Read the full article here.

Other covering the issue: Techmeme, TechSheep, Congoo

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