It’s time to throw another shovelful of dirt on the notion of an “IPO crisis” for emerging companies.
20 venture capital-backed companies went public on U.S. exchanges during the first quarter, which is the highest Q1 number of such issuers since the beginning of 2000. They raised around $1.63 billion, which is the highest first-quarter tally since Q1 2007. The combined post-offering value was approximately $9.5 billion.
The quarter’s largest VC-backed IPO was for ExactTarget (ET), an Indianapolis-based maker of email marketing software, which last week raised $161.5 million by pricing 8.5 million common shares at $19 a piece (it opened trading today at $26.49). It was followed by Millennial Media (MM), a Baltimore-based mobile advertising platform that on Wednesday night raised $133 million by pricing 10.2 million shares at $13 per share (it opened today at $25.58).
Most of the quarter’s IPOs were for information technology companies, but there also were several life sciences and cleantech companies in the mix. The largest of the non-IT bunch was Cambridge, Mass.-based oncology drug company Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (MACK), which raised $100 million earlier this week.
The only real negative for the quarter was that it didn’t feature a blockbuster IPO, like LinkedIn (MACK), Groupon (GRPN) or Zynga (ZNGA). Expect that to be rectified in Q2, when Facebook hits the public markets. We also could begin to see a slew of new issuance from small-cap companies, thanks to recent JOBS Act legislation.
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