initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Friday, January 24, 2014

Healthcare Outpaced Tech IPOs in 2013

In 2013, more venture-backed healthcare companies went public than tech companies. In 2013, about 38 healthcare firms went public, compared to 28 in technology, according to a report released Thursday, by venture capital database firm CB Insights.

While tech companies such as Twitter Inc. attracted the most attention for their 2013 public offerings, the healthcare industry experienced much higher growth in IPOs last year, while the number of tech offerings declined. Healthcare’s 38 IPOs reflected a 217% jump from just 12 IPOs in 2012. Notable 2013 public offerings included Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc. and biotech companies Intrexon Corp. and Ophthotech Corp.

In comparison, the number of tech companies that went public declined 7% from 30 in 2012. Aside from Twitter, those included the October 2013 public offering of cloud provider Veeva Systems Inc. and November’s IPO of online retailer Zulily Inc.

While there were fewer tech IPOs in 2013, the median value of those offerings was $559 million, compared to a median value of $236 million for the healthcare initial public offerings, according to CB Insights. Twitter, for example, raised as much as $2.1 billion in its IPO, while Intrexon raised about $160 million.

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