In addition to Snap's public offereing, a dozen expected IPOs of relatively obscure software firms could help thaw the long-frozen market. Jane Lee reports.
Apttus, Tintri, Okta. Never heard of them? Well, they are the more obscure unicorns in Silicon Valley - startups valued at over a billion dollars that is. But it's going to be these no namers that collectively start to help thaw the IPO market in 2017 more so than just the highly anticipated listing of the disappearing messaging app SnapChat which could raise as much as $4 billion dollars, says Reuters M&A reporter Liana Baker. (SOUNDBITE) Liana Baker, REPORTER, REUTERS NEWS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I spoke to the top investment bankers in this space and they're expecting between 30 and 45 technology IPOs in 2017. A lot of these companies that were founded six seven years ago, they've been waiting to go public for years and finally they see some good signs. In 2016 we saw a couple go public. Twillio, Nutanix, Coupa, that are now trading well above their IPO offering price. So that gives these other ones confidence that they too could have a good offering." Tech IPOs in 2016 hit a record low with only twenty getting out of the gate, and many companies held back after some tech companies like Box and Pure Storage went public at lower valuations than their last private fundraising rounds. So who are these unicorns with names that confuse the spell check? Many of them are business to business software companies. (SOUNDBITE) Liana Baker, REPORTER, REUTERS NEWS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "These companies are hard to pronounce. Okta, Tintri, Yext. But a lot of them have valuations that are above a billion dollars and they actually are well known in circles where investors follow enterprise software really closely. They're not snapchat but the kind of returns that they'll give their investors, they might as well be for the people involved." But if these unicorns help the Tech IPO market in 2017, it could help set the stage for the giants like AirBnB and Uber to eventually join the party.