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Photo via Bigstock
Photo via Bigstock

It’s a tough time to take your company public. Just eight venture-backed companies completed IPOs during the first quarter of the year, on par with the previous quarter and down from the double digit numbers of the previous four quarters, according to a report out today by the National Venture Capital Association.

Meanwhile, exit value — the amount of money raised through the offerings — declined by 52 percent to $672 million during the quarter. Acquisitions also dropped for the quarter, down to 77. That compared to 117 in the previous quarter and 114 for the first quarter of 2012.

In Washington state, the last IPO in the tech industry was Zillow, which went public in July 2011. The first quarter, however, did bring a strong exit for Appature, the Seattle healthcare marketing startup which sold to IMS for more than $100 million last month.

“First quarter IPO and acquisitions activity is often subdued as year-end reporting and forward planning take priority, but this year political, taxation, and sequestration concerns weighed even more heavily on the exit market for emerging growth companies. Therefore, activity was especially slow,” said John Taylor, head of research for NVCA. “That said, public market valuations have been up recently, 2012 financial statements are being finalized now, and quality companies tell us they are starting the process toward an exit later in the year.”

Here’s a look at the IPO and M&A activity over the years.


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