After years in the doldrums, initial public offerings from tech startups seem to be on a roll, offering hope that at least some of the industry’s overpriced unicorns might be able to exit at something close to their private valuations.
According to the latest quarterly review of the IPO market from Renaissance Capital, there were 18 tech IPOs in the three months ending in June, up 50 percent from the same period one year ago. Those 18 IPOs raised a collective $4.6 billion, a 200 percent increase from Q2 2017.
Even better: They performed well after their debut. According to Renaissance, tech IPOs averaged a 61 percent return after their debut, a rate that helped lift the gain for all IPOs in the quarter to 29 percent.
“The white-hot tech sector drove up the overall average,” the report says. “IPOs rarely priced below the range, though a number of them postponed.”
There was also some good news for beleaguered venture capitalists: The number of venture-backed IPOs tripled from the first quarter and doubled from the same period a year ago.
The top performers included DocuSign, which has seen its stock climb 82.9 percent, and Pivotal Software, up 71.1 percent since its IPO.
With a large number of tech IPOs in the pipeline, the results of the first six months of 2018 has Renaissance predicting continued momentum for the second half of the year.
“As we predicted last quarter, tech companies can finally get their hoped-for valuations in public markets,” the report says. “That could cause a herd of unicorn IPOs in the back half of the year.”