The IPO Market Is Roaring (and Not Just for Tech Companies)

A blog about business and economics.
April 3 2014 2:28 PM

The IPO Market Is Roaring (and Not Just for Tech Companies)

The King Digital Entertainment IPO notwithstanding.

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

This story first appeared in Inc.

It was a roaring first quarter for initial public offerings, especially of the nontech variety.


That may surprise you, particularly if you thought you’d have to ride this party out as technology stocks steal all the thunder and glory yet again.

Through the end of March, 64 companies went public raising nearly $11 billion, according to new research from IPO adviser and research company Renaissance Capital. That’s more than double the number of companies that went public in the first quarter of 2013, and the highest number since the same period in 2000, Renaissance reports.

Those findings jibe with just-reported data from the National Venture Capital Association, which reports 36 venture-backed companies went public, raising $3.3 billion, a 50 percent increase by number of deals and nearly 40 percent increase from the fourth quarter in 2013. It is, similarly, the strongest quarter for venture-backed IPOs since the third quarter of 2000, NVCA reports.

“Building on the momentum of 2013, the venture-backed exit market is continuing to flourish in 2014,” Bobby Franklin, president and chief executive of NVCA said in a statement.

Ten venture-backed companies in the first quarter came from the IT sector, while 24 were life sciences companies including biotech and health concerns, NVCA reports. Most of the companies listed on the NASDAQ, and 31 of the 36 businesses that went public this quarter are trading above their offering prices.

Similarly, Renaissance Capital says health care and biotech dominated the quarter. There were 30 such deals in the quarter, compared with 12 in the prior quarter, and six in the first quarter of 2013. Average total returns were 25 percent, compared with 46 percent in the fourth quarter. Part of the reason for the difference, Renaissance surmises, is that the current quarter contains companies that are more speculative, with nearly three-quarter reporting net losses.

“While we expect tech and health care to remain active, the IPO market will broaden to include large PE-backed names (Biomet, La Quinta), spinoffs (GE’s Synchrony) and Chinese companies (Weibo,, Alibaba),” Renaissance said in a statement.

Jeremy Quittner is a staff writer for Inc.



Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your children is perfectly legal. 

Ken Burns on Why Teddy Roosevelt Would Never Get Elected in 2014

Cops Briefly Detain Django Unchained Actress Because They Thought She Was a Prostitute

Minimalist Cocktail Posters Make Mixing Drinks a Cinch

How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us

A glowing screen attached to someone else’s wrist is shinier than all but the blingiest of jewels.


Rainbow Parties and Sex Bracelets

Where teenage sex rumors come from—and why they’re bad for parents and kids.


You Had to Be There

What we can learn from things that used to be funny.

Legendary Critic Greil Marcus Measures and Maps Rock History Through 10 Unlikely Songs

Catfish Creator Nev Schulman’s Book Is Just Like Him: Self-Deluded and Completely Infectious

Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Sept. 12 2014 6:07 PM Steve Southerland’s Remarks Should Spur Florida Women to Vote
The Juice
Sept. 12 2014 3:40 PM Ford’s Big Gamble It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 13 2014 8:38 AM “You’re More Than Just a Number” Goucher College goes transcript-free in admissions.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 12 2014 4:05 PM Life as an NFL Wife: “He's the Star. Keep Him Happy.”
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 12 2014 5:55 PM “Do You Know What Porn Is?” Conversations with Dahlia Lithwick’s 11-year-old son.
Brow Beat
Sept. 14 2014 7:10 PM Watch Michael Winslow Perform Every Part of “Whole Lotta Love” With Just His Voice
Future Tense
Sept. 12 2014 3:53 PM We Need to Pass Legislation on Artificial Intelligence Early and Often
  Health & Science
New Scientist
Sept. 14 2014 8:38 AM Scientific Misconduct Should Be a Crime It’s as bad as fraud or theft, only potentially more dangerous.
Sports Nut
Sept. 11 2014 7:29 PM Why Is Terrell Suggs Still in the NFL? Like his teammate Ray Rice, the Ravens linebacker was accused of beating up his wife. But in his case, there was no video.