Five memorable tech IPO moments

Five memorable tech IPO moments

Scott Eelis | Bloomberg | Getty Images

With Twitter's IPO just around the corner, there's lots of talk about just how smooth its public offering will go.

Facebook's IPO went down in history as a mess, but it's not the only tech company that has had somewhat of an embarrassing IPO moment.

Here's a look at five memorable IPOs in tech.

(Read more: Why Twitter's IPO should be more like Facebook's)

—By CNBC's Cadie Thompson
Posted 5 Nov. 2013

Google

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The search giant, which was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, went public in 2004 and raised about $1.7 billion, valuing the company at about $27 billion.

(Read more: Twitter 101: Big names investors should follow)

And while the IPO turned about 1,000 Google employees into instant millionaires—and its founders into billionaires—the company had a rough time leading up to its public offering.

(Read more: Twitter IPO could mint more millionaires in Silicon Valley)

First, there was an interview of Page and Brin published in Playboy magazine, which violated the SEC's rules restricting comments made about a company in the period leading up to its IPO.

There was also a last-minute change in the expected IPO share price. Google had originally estimated a suggested price range of $108 to $135, but right before the SEC approved the IPO Google had revised the estimated share price range to $85 to $95.

A Google spokesperson declined to comment.

Vonage

AP

The voice over Internet protocol company became huge in the 2000s and seemed to be ready to go public by the time of its IPO in 2006. Vonage even surpassed its IPO expectations, raising $530 million and pricing at $17 a share. But the good times didn't last long.

Leading up to the IPO, the company solicited its customers to buy shares in the company. Vonage advertised to its users "Love our service? Then buy our company." But things didn't go as smoothly as hoped when the company started trading.

The website that Vonage built for customers to buy shares suffered a technical glitch that caused many customers not to be able to buy shares immediately. And by the time those who had managed to buy shares were informed they were owners, the price of the stock had already dropped significantly. But the new owners still had to pay the $17 IPO price.

By the end of the first week the stock price had dropped 30 percent.

A class action was filed against the company and its underwriters also got hit with fines. Vonage reached a deal to settle the class action. Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

Vonage declined to comment.

Lantronix

The input ports of a Lantronix xPrintServer Home Edition AirPrint accessory.
Tap Magazine | Future | Getty Images

Lantronix, an electronic monitoring devices company, seemed to be doomed from the start. The company, which went public in 2000, first scaled back its offer from 9 million to 6 million shares.

Then it dropped its offer price from $15 to $10. And then things got really ugly when its stock price dropped 20 percent the first day of trading.

Lantronix did not respond to a request for comment.

TheGlobe.com

TheGlobe.com
Source: TheGlobe.com

Before there was Facebook, there was TheGlobe.com, which allowed users to basically create and share content. The company, which is considered to be one of the first social media sites, had a whirlwind first day of trading with its share price jumping as much as 1,000 percent.

The company had a target price of $9 a share, but closed on its first day of trading at $65, a more than 600 percent increase.

The party didn't last long though, the dotcom crash brought the share price down to 10 cents.

In 2001 TheGlobe.com shut down its flagship site and laid off half of its employees. In 2008 TheGlobe.com was sold to Tralliance Registry Management Company, a private entity controlled by Michael S. Egan, TheGlobe.com's chairman and chief executive officer.

The company still trades on the OTC Bulletin Board.


TheGlobe.com did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook

An image of Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., left, with Robert Greifeld, chief executive officer of Nasdaq OMX Group, right, is projected at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York, May 18, 2012.
Peter Foley | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Facebook's IPO is hard, if not, impossible to forget.

The social network, which listed on the Nasdaq, raised $16 billion in its IPO, valuing the company at $104 billion. It was hyped by industry professionals and the media alike, but when the big day came it was a big disappointment.

Technical glitches plagued the offering and its stock didn't get a first day pop, like many had anticipated. It's stock closed barely above its offering price of $38 and its share price fell by more than half over the next four months.

Of course, things have turned around for the company since then. The company's stock currently trades above $45.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.