Stellar performing US Tech IPOs are not all good news

2020 should’ve been lackluster for IPOs.


But there were 120 IPOs of VC-backed US companies (more than any of the last 5 years!) and that is surprising.


Connecting the dots, it's not surprising.


But it's not all good news.


A year starting with a warning had capital markets slumped and then surging to unprecedented highs.


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Traditional fund-raising was now dead. Investees were asked to accelerate IPO plans (Airbnb).


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Markets seemed to be working so heavily on prospective financials as all companies were having a financially slow year.


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Investors were hungry for new opportunities, but traditional fund-raising had slowed.


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A few start-ups posted unprecedented growth that could only happen in circumstances like this (Doordash).


Why this is not all good:


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Capital market allocations at crazy high valuations meant lower early-stage allocations, impacting innovation capital over the next 5 years.


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Big boys raised Mega funds (A16Z, LSP, NEA). This usually means smaller funds have lesser LPs to come around to.


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Employees in several IPOs ended up lapsing stock options due to the market-driven exercise prices.


Somehow, news in 2020 always came with a pinch of salt.

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Let us all hope 2021 has news that we can just enjoy.

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We need it.