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Morning Report: 2017 Tech IPO Pace Disappoints

Morning Report: 2017 was supposed to be the year that tech IPOs bounced back. Now, it seems that the year will be alright at best. What’s going on?

The unicorn traffic jam is still with us.

Technology companies are not going public this year at the pace that many, myself included, presumed they would. After a strong start to the year with a near-IPO, a huge offering, and a software debut, the pace of unicorns going public looked good. But the move to public is slowing, and 2017’s final IPO tally may best 2016’s, but only by a little.

The situation is drawing attention, notably from TechCrunch and The Information. Let’s take a look.

Slowing Down

Several weeks ago, TechCrunch’s Katie Roof published an entry entitled “Where are the rest of the tech IPOs?” The piece drew a good picture of this year’s IPO cycle’s deceleration:

Roof goes on to note that the markets were — are, really, as things haven’t changed much — at record highs.

With record highs and a market willing to accept debuts, why is this the best that tech can do in 2017?

There are two obvious answers to the question. Many tech companies still have a lot of cash, and there are some that are likely in worse shape today than the market anticipates. So some companies don’t need to go public, and some companies can’t go public. This explains why firms straddle the gap. Few companies that need to go public actually can.

The Information makes that point in its piece entitled “Pace of Tech IPOs Remains Muted Despite Strong Market,” which was published today. The article, before underscoring the point concerning who needs to go public notes that, according to Dealogic’s counting, “14 tech companies have gone public in the U.S., raising a total of $5.87.” The piece goes on to report 2016’s pace (26), 2015’s (31), and 2014’s comparatively epic result of 62 tech IPOs.

You can rate-out the 14 to date IPOs, even adding in AppDynamics for good measure to get an estimate for the full year. 2017’s tech IPO haul may beat last year’s, but with Airbnb, Dropbox, Pinterest, Spotify, Uber, and a host of the most valuable companies still hanging the wings, smaller debuts are only worth so much.

If the IPO market could just get itself to normal so I could stop writing about it, I’d be thankful.

From the Crunchbase Daily:

Uber CEO Kalanick resigns

  • Travis Kalanick resigned as CEO of Uber after several of the company’s largest shareholders demanded he step down in the wake of a series of scandals that rocked the ride-hailing giant. There’s no word of a replacement yet. Kalanick’s resignation follows a string of executive departures at Uber.

Cybereason raises $100M for security

  • Cybereason, a provider of endpoint detection tools for cybersecurity, announced that it has raised $100 million in Series D financing from SoftBank, its largest existing investor. The new round brings total financing for Boston-based Cybereason to $189 million.

As US-China VC deals rise, hurdles loom

  • The U.S. government is reportedly considering new restrictions on Chinese investment into American companies working on artificial intelligence and other technologies deemed strategically important. If that happens, it could put a damper on what’s been a pattern of sharp growth in cross-border venture investments in the past few years, a Crunchbase News analysisfinds.

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

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