Meet The New Tech Companies On The Public Market

There have been four non-biotech, venture-backed IPOs so far this year, Paul Kedrosky points out, wondering whether this heralds a return of the tech IPO.

Last year, the successful IPO by restaurant reservation service OpenTable led many to wonder if, in the aftermath of the financial crisis, we’d see a return of the tech IPO. It hasn’t really been the case so far.

But now the trend is accelerating, with four tech IPOs in three months this year.

We see three reasons for this:

  • The run in the markets
  • The high liquidity environment created by the Fed
  • Investors’ renewed appetite for risk.

But whether a tech IPO boom is truly in the cards remain to be seen.

In the meantime, check out this year’s tech IPOs >

QuinStreet (QNST) is an online marketing company

What they do: QuinStreet is 'the leader in vertical marketing and media online' (link) -- they're a lead-generation company basically.

The IPO: The shares were offered at $15 and stayed there, they're now at $16.3, a 9% gain.

Financial Engines (FNGN) helps you plan for your retirement

What they do: This one is impressive. The company was co-founded by Economics Nobel Prize winner William Sharpe, who was one of the inventors of CAPM, the Capital Asset Pricing Model that bedevils business school students with liberal arts backgrounds. According to USA Today, the company 'uses advanced mathematical algorithms to help individuals optimise their retirement investment plans.'

The IPO: The shares were priced at $12 in the IPO, above the expected $9-$11 range, and still closed up 44% at $17.25. A sign of a new tech boom, or that you can only IPO when one of your cofounders has a Nobel Prize?

MaxLinear (MXL) makes silicon chips

What they do: According to their homepage, MaxLinear makes 'highly integrated radio-frequency analogue and mixed signal semiconductor SoC solutions for broadband communication applications offering high levels of performance, small silicon die-size, and low power consumption.' Yeah, we don't know what that is either, but we're sure there's a market for it.

The IPO: The shares were priced at $14 in the IPO and closed at $18.7, for a cool 34% first-day return.

What they do: Calix is 'the largest communications equipment supplier focused solely on access' (About page)

The IPO: They went public two days ago. The shares offered at $13 and closed at $15.1 for a nice 16% first-day return.

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