The Frozen Tech Market Stagnates

CB Insights has released data that shows the tech IPO market has stalled, with 18 of the 20 largest technology IPOs underwater. In the first quarter of 2023, there were only 86 initial public offerings, down from 177 in the year-ago quarter.

The second quarter in 2022 saw 161 companies go through an IPO, followed by 224 in the third quarter and 161 in the fourth quarter of last year.

In the report, CB Insights lists the market caps at IPO and the current market value for the top 20 companies. Some of the companies are very well known, such as Rivian, Airbnb, Snowflake, DiDi, Doordash, Roblox, Robinhood, Affirm, Palantir, and AppLovin.

Rivian, for example, had a market cap at IPO of $87.5 billion. Its current market cap has declined to $12.8 billion. Coupang, which had a market cap at IPO of $84.5 billion, has a market cap today of $23.6 billion, while Affirm's market cap fell from $23.6 billion at IPO to $3.0 billion today.

Airbnb, Mobileye, and Palantir are some of the few companies that have maintained close to the market cap they held at IPO.

Airbnb had a market cap at IPO of $86.5 billion. Its market cap today is $74.1 billion. Mobileye had a market cap at IPO of $31.3 billion, and its market cap today is $23.1 billion. Palantir had a market cap at IPO of $16.3 billion. It’s market cap today is $15.7 billion.

As of this week, according to CB Insights, the combined market cap of the 50 largest technology IPOs since 2020 is down 59% vs. the day they went through the initial public offering. Compare that to the private markets in Q4 2022, when Series C and Series D valuations were up 20% and 30%, respectively, vs. 2020.

CB Insights says valuations have much farther to fall, and down rounds will become more common -- and to expect lower tech valuations, higher startup mortality, and more layoffs.

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