Here’s a silver lining for all those Seattle-area investors still waiting for the region’s first tech IPO of the year to pump some liquidity back into the market: at least you’re not alone.
New research from Renaissance Capital found that the technology industry’s share of U.S. IPOs is sitting around 11 percent so far in 2015, the lowest its been since the recession in 2008. By comparison, 20 percent of the 275 companies that went public in 2014 were from the technology sector.
The data, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, is yet another reminder of the changing times. Financing available to startups through venture capital and other means is swelling to unprecedented highs, taking company valuations along for the ride.
According to the current count from research firm CB Insights, there are now 133 private companies valued over $1 billion — something that used to be so rare that those companies became known as unicorns.
In the end, it means more startups are delaying their day ringing the Wall Street bell because they now have the luxury of avoiding the headaches of the public markets, while still raising all the cash they need to grow.
Seattle-area companies like Redfin, Apptio and Inrix have long been rumored to be on the cusp of taking the plunge, but instead we’ve just seen them raise gobs of money from private investors. IT automation company Apptio may be the closest in the area, as the company has reportedly already hired banks to handle its upcoming IPO.
We still have a little over three months left before we bid farewell to 2015, so there’s plenty of time to avoid a shutout — but something is going to have to happen soon.