Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Rally Soars 27 Percent in Market Debut

rocket-flying-featureShares of Rally Software, the development tools maker that debuted on the New York Stock Exchange today, rose by more than 27 percent on the first day of trading.

The closing share price was $17.81, after pricing yesterday at $14 a share. Deutsche Bank and Piper Jaffray acted as lead book-running managers for the offering. Needham & Co., JMP Securities and William Blair & Co. are acting as co-managers.

Rally’s venture capital investors include Meritech Capital Partners, Greylock Partners, Mobius Venture Capital, Boulder Ventures, Vista Ventures and Mohr Davidow Ventures.

I think this constitutes the first tech IPO launch of the second quarter of the year. Others that have filed offerings recently include Marketo, the cloud-based marketing software company, and Tableau, the data visualization company. Violin Memory is also said to be readying an offering in May, though the date keeps inexplicably slipping. It raised some extra capital in February.

And speaking of IPOs, I saw some data from Silicon Valley law firm Fenwick and West showing that the pace of tech IPOs has been slowing down since a recent peak in the first quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, IPOs in the Life Sciences industry were on a slow rise as of the end of 2012. (You can get the full survey here.)

As recent tech IPOs go, a 27 percent pop is relatively small. The biggest opening day rise in the last two years was that of LinkedIn, which rose more than 109 percent on its first day of trading, followed closely by Splunk, which rose 108 percent. Workday, the cloud-based human resources software company, rounded out the top five companies in the study, rising 74 percent.

Some tech companies decline on their first day. Among those during 2011 and 2012 were Lifelock, which fell 7 percent, E2open which fell 9 percent and the adult site FriendFinder Networks, which fell more than 21 percent.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus