There weren’t many Seattle-area technology companies that completed IPOs in 2016, but it was enough to beat last year’s unprecedented drought.
PhaseRx, Impinj, and Apptio went public this year. That’s up from 2015, when no companies from the Seattle region completed IPOs, but it’s still down from prior years.
PhaseRX, a biotech company that develops therapies to treat liver diseases, was the first of 2016 when it raised $18.5 million in May.
The IPO slowdown was felt across the country. According to CB Insights’ fifth annual Tech IPO Pipeline Report, there were only 14 U.S.-based tech companies that went public in 2016, which is down from 28 in 2015 and 62 in 2014.
CB Insights predicts that we’ll see an increase in IPOs for 2017.
“2016 did not turn out to see a flurry of tech IPOs as companies continued to access funding privately,” its report noted. “But as companies in the pipeline continue to mature, increased calls by investors for companies to go public, and a slowing down of deep pocketed investors like mutual funds and hedge funds financing late-stage startups, the drumbeat for a busier 2017 IPO pipeline is getting louder.”
CB Insights also looked at the top 369 U.S. tech companies that are poised for an IPO in the coming year. Using its rating system Mosaic, which analyzes data to rank organizations based on overall health and growth potential, CBInsights came up with the top five companies that are most likely to go public in 2017: Qualtrics, Blue Apron, Zuora, Okta, and Pluralsight.
Some of the other big-name tech companies that could venture into the IPO waters in 2017 include Uber, Airbnb and Snap, operator of Snapchat. Seven companies from Washington made CB Insights’ pipeline list: Avalara, Rover, PayScale, Redfin, OfferUp, Avvo, and Inrix.
EY noted that there were 112 total IPOs in the U.S. this year, down 36 percent from 2015. But Jackie Kelley, EY Americas IPO Leader, also remained optimistic about 2017.
“There are a number of indicators that point to optimism in 2017,” Kelley said in a statement. “Private equity continues to provide a robust pipeline of strong deals. The backlog of tech companies is starting to make a debut. Unicorns are beginning to find a successful place in the public markets. This momentum, when matched with the stable, post-election markets, should lead to strong performance for IPOs in 2017.”
Here’s a look at total IPO filings from each year over the past decade, from Renaissance Capital (click to enlarge):