Prominent venture capitalists Bill Gurley, Marc Andreessen and Fred Wilson have sounded the alarm bell in recent weeks about the excessive cash burn rates in startup tech land.
“I think that Silicon Valley as a whole or that the venture-capital community or startup community is taking on an excessive amount of risk right now. Unprecedented since ’99. In some ways less silly than ’99 and in other ways more silly than in ’99,” Gurley told the Wall Street Journal in a wide-ranging interview last month. That was followed up by a Tweet
Andreessen added in a series of Tweets last week:
Even with that chatter, venture-backed technology companies are still going public, perhaps the last hurrah before things sour. Twenty-three VC-backed companies completed IPOs in the third quarter, raising $2.6 billion. That is the sixth consecutive quarter of 20 or more venture-backed IPOs.
However, things may be slowing — heeding the warnings of the VCs. The 23 venture-backed IPOs in Q3 was the smallest amount so far this year, down from 28 in the second quarter and 37 in the first quarter.
For the first nine months of the year, 88 venture-backed companies have completed IPOs, propelled by a number of biotechnology companies.
“There’s clearly a strong demand in the public markets for high-growth companies on the cutting edge of innovation,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of the National Venture Capital Association. “With the biotechnology sector continuing to lead the way, over three-quarters of the venture-backed exits in the third quarter were life sciences IPOs.”
Here’s a look at the IPO & M& activity, according to a chart from the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters.
In Washington state, domain registration company Rightside spun off into a public company in August, while pet insurance company Trupanion completed an IPO in July. Following the national biotech trend, Seattle-based Immune Design and Alder Biopharma have completed IPOs this year.