The IPO Buzz: Tech IPOs Light Up the Sky

There’s more to the tech IPO world. At last count, well over a dozen tech IPOs were in the pipeline waiting for their turn on the calendar. This could usher in the “New Age of Tech IPOs.”
First Tech IPO of 2014
Varonis Systems (VRNS), a New York City-based provider of a software platform that lets companies manage and protect their unstructured data, priced its IPO of 4.8 million shares at $22 each on Thursday evening, Feb. 27, 2014. It closed its opening-day at $44 per share, UP 100 percent from its initial public offering price.
Last Tech IPO of 2013
Nimble Storage (NMBL), a San Jose, California-based provider of information technology, hardware and software products for data storage, priced its IPO of 8 million shares at $21 each on Thursday evening, Dec. 12, 2013. It closed its opening day at $33.93, UP 61.6 percent from its initial offering price. On Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, Nimble closed at $48.10 per share, UP 128.6 percent from its initial public offering price.
This Week’s Tech IPO (COUP – proposed), a Mountain View, California-based provider of digital coupons, including online printable, social media, mobile and loyalty card promotions for more than 2,000 brands from more than 700 consumer package-goods companies, grocery, drug and mass merchandise retailers. For the three-month period ended Dec. 31, 2013, reported net income of $1.5 million on revenues of $52.6 million, compared with a net loss of $9.1 million on revenues of $35.8 million for the same period a year ago. Founded in 1998, the company has about 469 employees.
Underwriters plan to offer 10 million shares of at $12 to $14 each to raise about $130 million. The IPO is expected to be priced Thursday evening and trade Friday morning on the New York Stock Exchange. The joint-lead managers are Goldman Sachs, Allen & Company, BofA Merrill Lynch and RBC Capital Markets.
The Tech Watch List
There are about 15 IPOs falling under the technology sector, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Among them are:
  • Aerohive Holdings (HIVE – proposed) is a Sunnyvale, California-based provider of cloud-based WiFi and routing products.
  • Amber Road (AMBR – proposed) is an East Rutherford, New Jersey-based provider of cloud-based global trade management solutions.
  • Borderfree (BRDR – proposed) is a New York City-based e-commerce provider of a technology and services platform that enables U.S. retailers to transact business in more than 100 countries and territories.
  • JD.COM (no proposed symbol available) believes it is the largest online direct sales company in China. The company filed plans to raise US$1.5 billion.
IPO Lightning
Under the April 2012 JOBS Act, a company can file to go public and be on the IPO calendar from within days to a few weeks.
This week includes an example of the lightning speed from the pipeline to the calendar:
Aquinox Pharmaceuticals (AQXP – proposed) filed to go public, planning to raise $57.5 million, on Jan. 28, 2014.
Fast forward: Friday, Feb. 28, Aquinox filed an amendment announcing its proposed pricing terms. The offering was on the IPO calendar expecting to be priced the following Thursday evening, March 6. That’s just five business days later.
Aquinox Pharmaceuticals is a Vancouver, British Columbia-based clinical-stage pharmaceutical company discovering and developing novel drug candidates to treat inflammation and cancer. The Canadian company’s leading drug candidate, AQX-1125, is being investigated in two Phase 2 clinical trials – one to evaluate its effectiveness in treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, and another to investigate its ability to reduce pain and urinary symptoms in bladder pain syndrome, also known as interstitial cystitis, a condition that mostly affects women. Founded in 2003, Aquinox has about 12 employees.
Underwriters plan to offer 3.7 million shares of Aquinox Pharmaceuticals at $10 to $12 each to raise about $40.7 million. The IPO is expected to be priced Thursday evening and trade Friday morning on the NASDAQ Global Market. The joint-lead managers are Jefferies and Cowen. The co-manager is Canaccord Genuity.
Looking into next week, the calendar has three IPOs. But more names could land on the IPO launching pad by the time that Monday, March 10, rolls around.
Stay tuned.
Disclosure: Neither the author nor anyone else on the staff has a position in any stocks mentioned, nor do we trade or invest in IPOs. The author and staff do not issue advice, recommendations or opinions.