Where have all the tech IPOs gone?
So far in 2016, just one tech company has gone public in the U.S. That is the fewest U.S. tech IPOs at mid-May of any year since 2003, according to Dealogic.
Unless there's a significant shift in the IPO market, it is going to take years for the roster of highly valued startups like Uber, Pinterest and SpaceX to wind their way to the public markets. Some of them are going have an unpleasant end before they get to an IPO. And the tech industry can't stay healthy if investors aren't able to take their companies public.
While many startups are content to wait for the right time to go public, not all their investors feel so Zen. Tech investor Fred Wilson recently advised companies that are delaying IPOs: "Don't be chicken. ... You have a responsibility to give me my money back sometime."
(Apologies to Peter, Paul and Mary for the first sentence.)
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.
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