VCJ Report: The IPO Window is Open

It’s still a matter of fun conjecture as to when Facebook, Groupon, Twitter or Zynga will launch their IPOs.

But for now, it doesn’t matter. This year is already turning out to be a good one for VC-backed IPOs.

As Mark Boslet, senior editor of Venture Capital Journal, reported in the upcoming May issue: The first quarter of 2011 saw a respectable 14 venture-backed IPOs, a 56% improvement from the same quarter a year earlier and the strongest opening quarter for a year since 2007, according to the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and Thomson Reuters (publisher of VCJ and

And that figure doesn’t count the recently launched Zipcar IPO.

J. Sanford Miller, a GP at Institutional Venture Partners, tells Mark: “There have never been as many private technology companies of scale, with profits, and good growth prospects. You’ve got an unprecedented supply of attractive companies.”

And the excitement over new VC-backed issues should continue. This week, BrightSource registered for its IPO. Meanwhile, waiting in the wings to go next and provide liquidity to venture backers are LinkedIn, Pandora, HomeAway and Renren, among others.

The question remains, however, how much of an impact the current slate of IPOs will have on the venture industry. There’s no denying that many firms have a huge backlog of portfolio companies that have yet to generate liquidity. As John Taylor of the NVCA tells Mark, about one-third of the value of active VC funds remains locked in these un-exited portfolio companies.

A dozen VC-backed IPOs a quarter may not sound like much, but it does help.

As a treat for VCJ subscribers, Mark’s full story is available now by clicking here.

The link also includes commentaries about the IPO market from Jeff Richards of GGV Capital and Anthony McCusker of Goodwin Procter.

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And if you want to chime in on the merits of the IPO market or other hot VC-related topic, send an email to VCJ Editor-in-Charge Alastair Goldfisher at [email protected].

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