Some of the best known names in technology were able to conduct initial public offerings during 2011. These included technology companies like LinkedIn, Pandora, Groupon, Zillow, Demand Media and others. This will likely continue tomorrow as one of the most highly anticipated technology company offerings of the year (Zynga, a developer of online games for Facebook) is scheduled to price its IPO tonight.
The markets remained fairly receptive to these technology IPOs throughout 2011. This is impressive given the general poor state of the capital markets and the high degree of skepticism that greeted many transactions in other industries. Companies from many other industries found themselves either shut out of the capital markets or unable to easily access capital.
Many of these high profile technology companies have been able to maintain or show an increase from their IPO price. Based on recent information, LinkedIn, Groupon and Zillow are all trading well above their IPO prices. This is again impressive given the overall status of the capital markets. Not all technology companies have been successful in the public arena, however, as Pandora, Demand Media and others currently trade well below their IPO prices. The general feeling among investors seems to be that they are satisfied with most of these technology companies for now, but there is also an undercurrent of skepticism.
Of course, the most highly anticipated technology IPO (and one of the most highly anticipated IPOs in history) may occur in 2012 if Facebook elects to proceed with its offering. There is no way to tell if this will happen, but there have been an increasing number of signs that Facebook is going in this direction.
All of these public technology companies face some serious fundamental questions and issues, and the resolution of these questions and issues will determine the long-term success or failure of these technology companies as public entities. The questions surrounding these companies mainly relate to basic business issues such as the long-term viability of their business models and their ability to establish and maintain sustainable and profitable business operations over time. Even though investors