The biggest attractant for potential IPO companies, of course, is that the market is so receptive. Overall IPO volume for just the first nine months of 2013 surpassed volume for all of 2012, as activity jumped by 110 percent and funds raised last quarter climbed 76 percent. Venture-backed IPOs are coming to market at the fastest pace in a decade.
Another reason more startups are looking at IPOs these days is that the market window might not be open all that long. Already, the U.S.-government curtailment is raising fears that the SEC will run out of money to run IPOs if the “shutdown” continues much longer.
And markets overall have just gotten more volatile, meaning “windows now literally open and shut in weeks, versus months or years,” Neil Dhar, partner in PwC’s U.S. capital-markets practice, told CFO Magazine.
One more thing prompting IPO filers now is a new “confidential filing option” that allows emerging growth companies to file their registration statements confidentially with the SEC and only go public with their financing plans about a month before pricing an IPO.
Such factors are drawing in more than just tech filers. Potbelly, the fast-casual restaurant chain, just raised $105 million in an IPO, and its share price immediately doubled.
And among the IPOs waiting in the wings are Phillips 66 Partners, an investor in energy-pipeline master limited partnerships; WCI Communities, a Florida homebuilder; and Associated Materials, which provides materials for constructing houses.