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Shira Ovide

The Sahara for Tech IPOs

More than half of the firms that have gone public since 2010 are trading below their debut price.

The technology industry is in an IPO desert. A lone tech company, a Dell spinoff called SecureWorks, has gone public in the U.S. so far in 2016. Meanwhile, 162 "unicorns" -- startups valued at $1 billion or more -- are waiting, waiting, waiting to maybe go public and give investors a shot at getting their money back.

And no wonder we're in this dry spell. The performance of tech companies that went public since 2010 -- when the IPO market reopened after a financial crisis blockade -- should give investors pause. Young public tech firms have been at best a coin-toss bet, both on their own and as acquisition fodder.