The Facebook IPO may bring with it a veritable flotilla of venerable public companies (and, perhaps, some spectacular implosions, too). peHUB tracked down some of the near- and long-term candidates to make it from New York and Silicon Valley to the NYSE and Nasdaq in 2012. At long last, the IPO pipeline has been opened up, and both private equity and venture capital firms are rushing to take advantage of exit opportunities in spring 2012. There are some other big potential IPO candidates coming later, provided the economy holds up, and even in 2013, according to reports. It’s almost enough to distract one from assembling their fantasy baseball lineup…
Big Data: In January, Splunk filed for a $125 million IPO underwritten by Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The San Francisco-based data analytics firm has raised about $40 million from backers including August Capital, Ignition Partners, JK&B Capital and Sevin Rosen Funds.
Under Press-ure? CafePress’ $80 million IPO filing is one of the leftovers from 2011’s S-1 class—but that isn’t to say the California-based online commerce company is any less of an IPO candidate. Recently, CafePress revealed its ticker symbol and its intent to sell shares on Nasdaq. JP Morgan, Jefferies and Cowen & Co are underwriters; New Millennium Partners and Sequoia are shareholders.
At the Register: Digital media firm Brightcove is looking to price a $50 million IPO that backers Accel Partners, General Catalyst Partners and Hearst Ventures (among others) will be happy to ring up as a successful exit. The offering for the Massachusetts-based company is being run by Morgan Stanley and Stifel Nicolaus, with RBC Capital Markets, Pacific Crest Securities and Raymond James co-managing.
Taking Their Time: Silver Spring Networks is another IPO candidate that has been hanging around a little while. The California-based consumer utility efficiency company filed paperwork in July 2011, but as recently as the federal filing published earlier this month, Silver Spring still wanted some more cash on hand, apparently. VCs including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Northgate Capital and JVB Properties, as well as investor GSV Capital, are likely looking forward to that $150 million IPO liquidity event… whenever it comes.
Better Luck This Time: ExactTarget withdrew its 2009 IPO when the financial crisis rocked public markets, but now, VCs Battery Ventures and Scale Venture Partners are back in the saddle with the Indianapolis-based company. ExactTarget’s IPO is on target to reel in a whopping $145 million in a couple of weeks. Look for the e-mail marketing company to show up on the NYSE with the extra-cool ticker “ET.”
The New Network in the Valley: It isn’t clear yet when Palo Alto Networks will go public, but after Reuters reported the California-based tech security firm is heading to public markets armed with the eye-popping figure of $700 million in annual revenues, it is reasonable to expect the company will be able to price a sizeable offering. And for VCs including Globespan Partners, Jafco Ventures, and (sensing a theme here?) Sequoia, that’s great news.
The IPO Market—Not Just for VCs Anymore! Who says that PE firms can’t price an IPO these days? Cinven and Warburg Pincus are looking to make an exit of nearly a billion dollars when they sell parts of their stakes and bring public Dutch cable company Ziggo. It isn’t just a watershed moment for financial sponsors; when Ziggo goes to the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam, senior execs will be making an exit, too.
PE-rfect Timing? It isn’t just Cinven and Warburg looking to cash in on public markets. Fifth Third Bancorp and Advent International are taking Vantiv (formerly Fifth Third Processing Solutions) to public markets, upping their offering from a $100 million exit to a now-whopping $461 million deal. That must have been music to the underwriting teams at JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, which were among the 11 firms Vantiv is using to IPO.
A Juicy Offering: Chicago LBO shop Madison Dearborn invested in WM Bolthouse Farms Inc. in 2005, and now, according to Bloomberg, the financial sponsor is looking for a big exit opportunity for the Michigan-based juice maker. If they really are seeking $2 billion, it is possible Madison Dearborn will be better off identifying a strategic bidder—but this is yet another sign private equity firms finally view public markets as viable exit opportunities.
On the Gogo: Anyone who has tried to take a flight without Internet access might realize that Gogo has a great opportunity to build scale in an industry that has very eager users waiting, so to speak, in the wings. Perhaps that’s why it filed for a $100 million IPO late last year. And who’d expect that one of the most essential technology companies travelers can put to use is backed by… a private equity firm? That’s right: Ripplewood Holdings, the NY-based LBO shop, is good for a whopping 38% of Gogo. Their LPs must have been very pleased to read that filing.
Chemical Reaction: PE shop CVC is working on exiting its biggest investment, in the form of German chemical company Evonik and its much-discussed IPO. That isn’t the only big exit CVC is eyeing this time around, the LBO firm is also looking to deal printing ink company Flint, as well, our Reuters colleagues reported.
Swing and a Miss? peHUB reported in September 2011 that Trulia, the Zillow competitor looking to explore the many verticals offered where the commercial real estate business meets the tablet and smartphone, would look to go public this year. It hasn’t happened yet, but the company has, in fact, hired a new, seasoned CFO. Once again, boldface name backers stand to cash in if the purveyor of property porn (and, more) pushes its shares into public markets, including Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and Fayez Sarofim & Co.
Zoom Zoom: When the West Coast provider of online legal and documentation services bagged a mega-B round in a $66 million deal with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Institutional Venture Partners, the IPO talk started swirling immediately. More recently, it was confirmed that the company will soon pursue a public listing—although, bankers were not identified. Also potentially primed to make an exit onto public markets is defense lawyer Robert Shapiro, who made his name and fame defending O.J. Simpson.
The 500: When will Twitter go public? That’s still anyone’s guess, although, CEO Dick Costolo says he’s years away from an S-1. If and when Twitter finally begins to assemble IPO paperwork, it won’t even mark the first exit opportunity to come along for VCs that invested in the company. Still, Twitter has packed on hundreds of millions in VC funding and its S-1’s size would likely encroach on Facebook/Google-level territory.
Angry Birds? Not every startup is scrambling to reach the public markets. A recent report stated that Rovio, maker of the wildly popular smartphone game Angry Birds, isn’t in any mood to go public soon, and could hold off until 2013. As long as Rovio keeps churning out the hits, it shouldn’t be any problem for backers like Accel Partners, which chipped in for the company’s massive $42 million A round in 2011.
Arista Development: When Cisco Systems lost out on a batch of executives that went on to run Arista Networks, it became the startups’ backers’ gain. Saying ‘nay’ to M&A, the California-based cloud computing component developer is pushing forward with plans to go public, sources told Reuters.
Fabulous: Glam Media acquired social network Ning in fall 2011, and since then, the online women’s networking and retail company has been on the fast track to the retail shareholders. It is no wonder: Glam—which hasn’t yet gone forward with anything official—has some boldface names as backers through more than $150 million raised, including Information Capital, Accel Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and, now, (thanks to its Ning buy) Andreessen Horowitz.
Socialize It: LivingSocial has enjoyed the opportunity to let a competitor jump ahead of it in line to IPO, and perhaps learn from one or two of its mistakes. The company took on a new partner and a VC for its 2011 $400 million round, in the form of Amazon and LightSpeed Venture Partners, and almost immediately, it became known LivingSocial was considering a $1 billion IPO. Amazon’s opportunity could potentially take the Web 1.0 company’s online business direct to the smarthpone, effectively providing the investor a strategic leap forward. While LivingSocial has had an opportunity to learn from Groupon’s foibles, one of the hottest startups in the US could also see investor interest in its shares impacted by its predecessor’s performance…
The Big Fish: So do all these companies owe their forthcoming fortunes to Facebook? Perhaps. But one thing is for certain: the glow of Facebook’s IPO is attracting retail investors back to American public markets, after a time when they spent years, in some cases, rightfully terrified. VCs set to make a mega-exit on the multi-billion dollar IPO include Accel Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, and Greylock Partners.