Monday, February 02, 2009

bits: OpenTable and Medidata Hope to End I.P.O. Drought

"nitial public offerings are a rare breed these days, but two venture-backed technology companies are set to brave the public markets.

OpenTable, the online restaurant reservation service, filed Friday to raise $40 million in an I.P.O., and Medidata Solutions, which makes software to manage clinical trials, filed on Jan. 26, hoping to raise $86 million.

If either succeed, it would be the first I.P.O. of a venture-backed technology company since August, when Rackspace Hosting, a Web hosting provider, went public. That is a startlingly long drought. All told, only six venture-backed companies went public last year, the fewest since 1977 and down from 86 in 2007, according to the National Venture Capital Association.

Rackspace has not performed particularly well. Its shares dropped 20 percent in the first day of trading and are down 61 percent since August.

It is not just venture-backed companies that are having a tough time in the public markets, of course. There have been no I.P.O.’s since November, when Grand Canyon Education, which provides online degrees, went out, according to Renaissance Capital IPO Home. Its shares rose only 1 percent in the first day but have returned 44 percent since then.

No comments: