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For better or worse, big e-commerce sites and huge social media apps probably won’t be choking the public markets this year.
Not that there won’t be any making it to the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. But lots of stars have made progress last year on the enterprise technology scene. They might not all be profitable, but they sure have attracted hefty rounds of venture funding.
Here we are in 2014, and a whole bunch of hot tech companies are considering initial public offerings (IPOs) this year. We’ve given you our best guesses below on the likelihood each of these players will actually pull the trigger. Feel free to share your views and predictions in the comments section.
- Box: Closed a $150 million round in January; the popular business-focused cloud storage vendor has been building its business by focusing on specific industries, such as health care. Likelihood of 2014 IPO: 90 percent.
- Dropbox: Was looking to raise $250 million as of last month. This Box competitor whipped up a neat-sounding application programming interface (API) called Datastore to move data across devices, sort of like iCloud. Likelihood of 2014 IPO: 90 percent.
- Palantir: Just raised $107.5 million, three months after news of a $196 million round. The money should help Palantir keep diversifying away from big government jobs. Likelihood of 2014 IPO: 85 percent.
- MongoDB: Raised $150 million this year. Made a smart, albeit not unprecedented, move by dropping its previous name, 10gen, and adopting the name of the popular NoSQL database it supports. Likelihood of 2014 IPO: 85 percent.
- Pure Storage: Software isn’t the only area that’s appealed to investors this year. This seller of fast-acting all-flash storage arrays has reportedly moved into IPO territory based on its revenue, following a recent $150 million round. Likelihood of 2014 IPO: 85 percent.
- Pivotal: It seems like it was only yesterday that this company spun out from EMC and VMware, yet GE decided to invest $105 million in it. The company has articulated a compelling vision of how data analytics can contribute to successful application development, which could help the company stand out from Hadoop distribution vendors and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) providers. Likelihood of 2014 IPO: 80 percent.
- Cloudera: This Hadoop distribution vendor brought in $65 million a year ago, and it’s been lining up deals to run its services on public clouds such as Amazon Web Services and IBM. Likelihood of 2014 IPO: 75 percent.
- New Relic: A favorite among developers, this company sells software that shows how applications are running and what could be causing issues. It pulled in $80 million in February and previewed a way for developers to search the data New Relic stores, to get insights about users. As New Relic Chief Executive Lew Cirne told VentureBeat in October, “The only thing I can imagine as the next big event for the company is a public offering.” He did not say when that event could come, but the statement doesn’t explicitly rule out a 2014 public bid. Likelihood of 2014 IPO: 75 percent.
- AppDynamics: This New Relic competitor raised $50 million a couple of weeks before New Relic revealed its latest round. Likelihood of 2014 IPO: 70 percent.
- SugarCRM: This Salesforce.com competitor helps businesses keep track of their sales leads. Speaking with VentureBeat about the company’s $40 million in new equity funding in August, SugarCRM chief executive Larry Augustin said, “We are at the stage where we could be a public company,” although he wouldn’t say when. Likelihood of 2014 IPO: 65 percent.
But while the pipeline certainly has its share of companies focused on doing business with businesses, plenty of tech companies with services for just about anyone also made the cut.
- Airbnb: The social home-renting company’s valuation exceeded the billion-dollar mark back in 2011. Likelihood of 2014 IPO: 80 percent.
- Eventbrite: IPO talk has been going on for the better part of two years now. A $60 million round came in April. Likelihood of 2014 IPO: 75 percent.
- Pinterest: This social media site for people to aggregate their favorite content recently had a $3.8 billion valuation, hot off a $225 million round. Yet it’s been thinking up ways to bring in money, so it might want to sit on a public offering a little while yet. But anything is possible. Likelihood of 2014 IPO: 55 percent.
- Evernote: Raised $85 million in November 2012, back when it had 45 million users. The user base has since swelled to roughly 80 million, including both free and paid users. Last February Chief Executive Phil Libin said a public offering would be possible in 2015 or 2016. A lot can change in a year, though. Likelihood of 2014 IPO: 45 percent.
- Snapchat: It’s hard to keep up with the latest valuation for this ephemeral-social-messaging app maker. And, like Pinterest, Snapchat could have a situation when it comes to revenue. But the company did just officially raise $50 million, only half a year after a $60 million round. Likelihood of 2014 IPO: 40 percent.
Without question, those companies boast high profiles. But last year, enterprise-focused companies such as Veeva Systems and Tableau Software came through with the best exits in terms of valuation at the time of exit relative to how much money they’ve raised, as VentureBeat’s Christina Farr reported.
Considering that so many business-to-business companies look poised to hit public markets in the coming months, plenty of them have a shot at delivering better exits than consumer companies for another year.
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