Dear Internet IPO Investors: So Very Sorry! (But Not Really, After You See Our Next Fundings.) Signed, Silicon Valley
If you invested some of your money in the series of big, splashy IPOs that Silicon Valley has largely funded and churned out over the last year, you might be a little irritated.
Even irked. Possibly quite out of sorts.
And you would have good reason if you looked at the performance of many of the freshmen companies that have come out since early last summer.
That’s because of all of them, only three — business network LinkedIn, enterprise software start-up Jive and the recently debuted travel site Kayak — are your friends, up 9.8 percent since its May 27, 2011, debut; 26 percent since a December 15, 2011, opening; and about six percent since an IPO last week, respectively. In addition, video services company Brightcove is up a small 2.7 percent since its February 21, 2012, IPO.
Not so much for the other four, which have been much rockier, in order of their public offerings: music streaming site Pandora, down 29.6 percent since its June 24, 2011, IPO; Groupon, down 72.3 percent since the daily deals site’s November 7, 2011, IPO; Zynga, down 46.6 percent since its December 19, 2011, IPO; and Facebook, down almost 23 percent since its May 18, 2012, IPO.
But the stock weakness — as social networking giant Facebook preps to release its first earnings report as a public company tomorrow, after Zynga’s disastrous Q2 results from its online gaming business earlier today — does not seem to have stopped the frothy valuations for private start-ups from being even more foamy.
Along with a $2.6 billion new mega venture fund from New Enterprise Associates, comes a Wall Street Journal report that online storage company Box is raising a new round at a $1.2 billion valuation and hopes to IPO at a $2 billion to $3 billion one next year; and online payments start-up Square is looking at a $3.25 billion-valued round, according to the New York Times, which is 13.5 times higher than just two years ago.
Caveat: While there have been some good returns to private investors in the M&A space of late, such as social enterprise network Yammer’s recent $1.2 billion sale to Microsoft, not everyone is going to get such deals.
And definitely not public investors for whom hope either springs eternal — or just springs a leak.