NEW YORK – Surprising absolutely no one who has even a passing interest in the initial public offering market, venture-backed offerings over the first quarter were virtually non-existent. Even so, such deals represented about 34% of the quarter’s overall IPO pool, according to data from VentureXpert.
During the first quarter, only 11 venture-backed companies hit the markets with a total take of $929.5 million. That compares miserably with the $8.5 billion raised by 79 companies over the same period last year. While the first quarter of 2000 was certainly a record-breaking period in the VC-backed IPO market, the fourth quarter was no such thing and yet it still managed to nearly double Q1 2001’s output. Between September and December of last year, 27 VC-backed companies raised $2.4 billion through IPOs.
Leading this year’s meager charge was Atlanta-based chicken franchiser AFC Enterprises, which completed a $159.4 million offering on March 1. The company was backed by investors Freeman Spogli & Co. and Penman Partners, while its IPO was lead managed by Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Next up was orthodontia device maker Align Technologies Inc., which raised $130 million on Jan. 20. The company counted such backers as Domain Associates, ABS Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers on its VC roster.