What happens when 140 meetings in eight countries over two weeks gets you nothing?
This is exactly the question pre-IPO companies need to ask themselves these days. Despite a record pipeline, few companies are actually getting to their celebratory opening bells. Some feel that the IPO window has closed, although the backlog does indicate a certain degree of optimism. Nonetheless, plenty are either pulling or at least putting off their IPOs.
For the many tech companies that were itching to go public, disappointment – and often considerable expense – has become the norm, according to FT.com. Let’s take a look at which companies are waiting in the wings:
1. Sophos: this data security provider in the UK has had to step back from the IPO market in 2007 and 2009. In 2010, it’s valuation hit $830 mn, but it still hasn’t been able to take the plunge.
2. Zynga: the leading social gaming company had planned to go public in the US this fall with an eye to raising $1 bn. The company hasn’t said it’s pulling back, but conditions certainly aren’t favourable. Interestingly, Zynga is often cited as a company with a strong enough brand to go public even in the current market (like Facebook): the issue will be deciding whether it wants to take some lumps now or wait for a smoother ride.
3. Facebook: of course, this is the IPO everyone wants to see. The rumour mill is working overtime on this company, with conflicting reports about an IPO being pushed later into 2012. The likely timeframe appears to be shaking out as September, as it would come following required SEC filings in April and not leave the social media giant with the kimono open too long before an IPO.