When it came to public offerings by tech companies, 2016 emerged like a corpse and only exhibited the faintest of heartbeats by the end.
Still, it’s worth re-writing the line that we have all written for the last two years: Next year could be much better! And this time, that could actually turn out to be true.
Let’s start with the 2016 IPO autopsy.
According to Renaissance Capital, in 2016 there were 21 U.S. tech IPOs, which raised only $3 billion. (The first quarter was particularly rough, with zero tech IPOs.) For the year, the total was down from 2015’s 26, which raised $7.1 billion. Put those two years together, and they don’t match 2014’s 56 tech IPOs, which raised $32.5 billion.
Within these numbers, things were a bit worse for venture capital firms. Only 15 of those tech IPOs were venture-backed, down from 20 venture-backed tech IPOs in 2015.
It’s a remarkably awful track record, considering that the U.S. economy is doing well overall, the S&P 500 hit record highs, and unemployment continued to dip.