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 went through a rough patch starting around the time of the Alibaba deal, with the dropping 10 percent from mid-September through mid-October. Software developer Box filed to go public earlier this year, but opted to raise private capital instead as the markets turned volatile.
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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.
The four companies preparing to price fall into two trends that promise to attract plenty of attention in 2015: financial technology and big data. Representatives from each company declined to comment, citing the pre-IPO quiet period.
LendingClub's IPO will be the biggest of the four, and looks as if it will be the largest offering for a U.S. tech company this year. Should the San Francisco-based company price at $12 a share, the top end of the current range, and if underwriters exercise their option to buy stock, LendingClub will raise close to $800 million.
The biggest U.S. tech offering so far this year, according to FactSet, came from travel software company Sabre, which raised just over $720 million.
Most of the hefty financing rounds came in the private markets. Ridesharing service Uber raised over $2 billion this year, including a financing last week that valued the company at $40 billion. Airbnb announced a $475 million round in August, and Cloudera, a competitor to Hortonworks, pulled in $900 million in March.
Henry Coffey, an analyst at Sterne Agee, expects San Francisco-based LendingClub to be valued at between $13 and $17 a share, topping the company's preliminary pricing range. At $12, the top end of the range, LendingClub would be valued at $5.6 billion on a fully diluted basis.
Coffey sees the provider of consumer loans exceeding $1 billion in revenue by 2017, more than 10 times its sales in 2013.
"We see no reason this company's platform cannot reach out to all aspects of the U.S. consumer and small business loan market, to markets outside this current geography, and to both prime and not-prime borrowers," Coffey wrote in a report Friday.
On Deck is looking to raise up to $207 million in its offering next week. The New York-based small business lender more than doubled originations to $788.3 million in the first nine months of this year, compared with $3 billion for LendingClub, and almost tripled net revenue to $48 million.
Friday will be a big day for big data.
Hortonworks, which is battling Cloudera and MapR in the market for commercializing Hadoop technology, is seeking to raise up to $96.6 million. Revenue at Palo Alto, California-based Hortonworks doubled in the first three quarters to $33.4 million, but because it offers a subscription service in which sales get recognized over an extended period, the company recorded losses of $86.7 million.
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New Relic, one of the software developers CNBC.com featured in its "Powering the holidays" series, aims to reel in up to $115 million. The San Francisco-based company's technology helps webmasters and app developers monitor the performance of their sites and applications to quickly locate and fix bugs.
Revenue at New Relic jumped 87 percent to $55.4 million through September, while the company's net loss shrank 1 percent to $29.2 million.
Founder and CEO Lew Cirne calls New Relic's product "software analytics."
"Business people want to know how many people are logging into their website," Cirne said in an online roadshow. "I.T. operations people want to know if the site is performing and scaling well, and developers want visibility to help make the software better and more reliable."