Morning Report: Our view of the IPO market has been warped. This year might feel great, but it’s merely pretty alright.
Bouncing around finance Twitter this morning is a piece from the Wall Street Journal detailing the year’s IPO results to date to prior years, and observing that many of the largest startup unicorns are staying private in self-imposed abeyance—at least in regards to financial maturity.
It’s worth reading, but what we need to highlight this morning is a chart towards the bottom of the report. See what you can deduce from the following:
I took away two observations from this chart.
- 2017 is, in fact, much better for IPOs over 2016. From a dollars-raised perspective, 2016 was trash, and 2017 is a dramatic improvement.
- 2017 still isn’t that great of a year. IPO proceeds are far below pre-recession highs and are only the third best pace of the current recovery.
Adding to our second point, the IPO market of 2017 gets to enjoy all-time market highs for various indices and securities. That means market comps are strong. But even with all that, IPOs are still lagging behind 20008, 2011, and 2014.
The slightly unpleasant undercurrent to the situation that the Journal highlights is tension between private and potentially public valuations. If companies that raised over the past few years can’t sync their last private valuation when public markets are at all-time highs, when can they? And what happens if the market slows?
You already know. Marc said it in 2014 (now-deleted tweet via):
Grammarly raises $110M to check your grammar
- Misplaced commas, beware. Grammar and spell-checking software provider Grammarly has raised $110 million to fuel its expansion. General Catalyst led the investment, which was the first recorded venture round for nine-year-old Grammarly.
Dell VC arm emerges from stealth
- After years of keeping a tight lid on its venture activity, Dell decided to reveal its portfolio of more than 70 active or exited investments. It also combined venture capital operations from its two predecessor companies, computer maker Dell and data storage firm EMC, into a new unit called Dell Technology Ventures. Going forward, Dell plans to invest about $100 million a year in startups.
Egnyte bucks trend with fewer rounds, more profit
- A startup that doesn’t lose money isn’t exactly revolutionary, but in the current technology cycle it is uncommon. That’s one reason why Egnyte, a provider of enterprise file sharing technology, stands out. The Silicon Valley company, which raised its last round in 2013, eked out a profit in the past two quarters and is grew revenues 38 percent last year, Crunchbase News reports.
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