All queued up and nowhere to go

The IPO market was moribund for a second month, but that didn’t stop two more venture-backed companies from joining 10 others waiting in the queue.

Acclarent Inc., which makes surgical devices for treating ear, nose and throat ailments, filed for an $86.25 million IPO, while NextG Networks Inc., a wireless infrastructure provider, filed to raise $150 million.

Acclarent is trying to simplify sinus surgery, which currently involves a surgeon slipping a bone saw up a nostril to clear blocked sinuses. Acclarent uses a balloon catheter—the same sort of thing used to unblock arteries. The balloon inflates, the sinus cavities reorient and the patient is fully functional in 24 hours (or so the company’s website claims).

Acclarent plans to trade on either the Nasdaq or NYSE, with JPMorgan and Piper Jaffray serving as co-lead underwriters. The company has raised $76 million in VC funding, from New Enterprise Associates (44.2% pre-IPO stake), Versant Ventures (15.3%), Meritech Capital Partners (8.3%) and Delphi Ventures.

The other recent registration is NextG Networks, which installs distributed antenna systems to improve wireless network coverage. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol NXTG, with Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers serving as co-lead underwriters. NextG has raised $64 million from Oak Investment Partners (26.9% pre-IPO stake), Gabriel Venture Partners (14.5%), Bay Harbor Management (8.7%) and others.

While the IPO market is in a slump, some VCs are focusing on M&A. “We’re not Pollyannish about the fact that the IPO market is having a tough time right now,” says Greg Gottesman, a managing director with Madrona Venture Group. His firm recently raised a fund in record time, buoyed by an uncanny ability to achieve liquidity from acquisitions. It sold three companies in eight months, averaging 5x on each deal, Gottesman says. —Alexander Haislip