Two-thirds of 86 US-based technology IPOs in 2021 had deal values above US$250 million, according to the latest Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Technology and Life Sciences IPO Report. The Silicon Valley law firm says the first half of 2021 proved to be the most active six months for tech and life sciences IPOs since the high levels reached during the dot-com era in the late 1990s.
“The second half of 2021, while not as active, still led to a notably high number of IPOs,” the firm said in its newly released report.
It said there were also six direct listings by technology companies in 2021, triple the number in 2020.
The leading equity-finance advisor looked at 179 initial public offerings all up for 2021, plus the six direct listings, with the total number of tech deals lagging the life sciences sector in the period, “consistent with the pattern from recent years”.
“However, also consistent with past trends, technology IPOs generated larger deal values,” Wilson Sonsini said. “Of the 86 tech IPOs, 31 had a total deal value exceeding $500 million. Another 33 had a total deal value between $250 and $500 million.”
All the IPOs on the firm’s 2021 register had deal values above $75m.
“Application software led all technology sub-sectors at year-end, with 40 IPOs,” Wilson Sonsini said.
“Other active sub-areas included internet and e-commerce, interactive media, education services, and systems software. Combined, the five categories made up nearly 75% of the technology IPOs in 2021.”
Of the 185 tech and life science IPOs, 141 (76.2%) listed on Nasdaq and 44 went to the New York Stock Exchange.
Nearly 42% of all the tech and life science IPO companies were based in California, with Massachusetts home to about 15% of the companies and New York 11%.
International accounting firm EY said earlier this year more than 600 tech IPOs raised US$147 billion globally in 2021 of the $453b in total raised by plus-2300 public offerings worldwide. That was up 67% on the previous 12 months, with EY saying the European, Middle East and African regions were responsible for a significant portion of the growth, along with India and the US.