Ask any venture capitalist, and he?ll tell you he?s well aware that an IPO is not the best exit strategy these days. He certainly isn?t alone. In fact, the sad truth is, the S-1 registration papers of only a small number of venture-backed companies in a handful of sectors have seen the light of day this year.
Up through late August, when the IPO market seemed to slip into an unofficial summer siesta, just 28 venture-backed companies managed to price. That?s a dip of 87% compared to 2000, when 227 such companies priced through the same period last year.
By July?s close, only eight sectors could boast a newly public company that had once been venture-backed, compared to 11 sectors last year. Healthcare, which rivals the energy sector when it comes to total IPOs this year, saw the most activity. Align Technology (NNM:ALGN), which collected approximately $12.3 billion in funding before its Wall Street debut, may have been the first to market with a January pricing, but the health-care sector as a whole didn?t pick up any steam until the summer. In all, 7 health-care companies have priced this year, compared to that 12 that pushed out IPOs through July 31, 2000.
The same lackluster performance, or worse, can be said for every other sector tracked this year. The following, according to Venture Economics, illustrates the numbers of venture-backed companies, by sector, that have found their way to the public markets through the end of July.