Technology investors are gearing up for a holiday shopping spree.
Three marquee Internet companies are slated to start trading this week, headlined by LendingClub, the peer-to-peer online lender, on Thursday. Business software providers Hortonworks and New Relic follow on Friday. Next week, another financial tech company, On Deck Capital, will hit the market.
Combined, the four companies are seeking to raise up to $1.2 billion. The high-profile deals close out a year that's been quiet on the technology IPO front, save for China's Alibaba, the biggest tech IPO ever.
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Alibaba's $25 billion offering was so big and thoroughly scrutinized that it effectively held the rest of the market captive, according to Charles Moldow, a partner at Menlo Park, California-based Foundation Capital, which backed both LendingClub and On Deck. Alibaba's successful offering loosened up the market for others.
"People wanted to be clear of the Alibaba IPO," Moldow said. "There was a common understanding among investment bankers and institutional investors and therefore also companies in the queue, that Alibaba was so large that it was both going to absorb a lot of the institutional demand for IPOs and its performance was to some degree going to influence the market."
It wasn't just Alibaba causing the delay. The
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Stocks have since bounced back in a big way, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average closing at record highs last week. That means investors are showing an appetite for risk—exactly the scenario emerging technology companies look for in determining when to debut.
"The whole thing is predicated on market conditions," said John Fitzgibbon, founder of research firm IPOScoop.com in Rahway, New Jersey.
According to Fitzgibbon, mid-December is typically hot for IPOs, assuming the market is moving up, because companies want to get out before investors hit the road for the holidays.
"The next week represents the last shopping days of the year for investment bankers with IPOs," Fitzgibbon said.