Despite all the hype in Silicon Valley, technology IPOs haven’t been this scarce since 2009, according to data released this week from Renaissance Capital.
As the media have been reporting for over a year now, the action is all in the private markets, where companies that are big enough to be public can raise more money at bigger valuations without worrying about being punished for missing guidance.
Among IPOs so far in 2015, tech accounts for only 11 percent, the lowest since 2008, Renaissance said. And only six companies are in the “active IPO backlog,” which would put this year at half the volume of 2013 and 2014.
But that doesn’t mean the stock market is irrelevant. Should the latest correction turn into a bear market, the more mature private companies could find it harder to raise money because investors will have less of an idea of when they’ll see returns.
“A lot of the late-stage money was coming from public market investors,” Theresia Gouw, co-founder and managing partner at Aspect Ventures, said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley.” “Your choices are either raise a down round or raise less capital.”
Gouw said the companies in the best position will be those who don’t need to raise money at all.