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The Revival of the Tech IPO Market: Rising Deal Valuations Call for Caution

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The Slow Resurgence of the Tech IPO Market: Evaluating Valuations and Market Conditions

As tech startups cautiously test the IPO market once again, they are facing the challenge of adjusting their valuations. While the successful debut of chip company Arm last week has boosted confidence, experts warn that the overall IPO resurgence may be slow and not without obstacles. Instacart and Klaviyo, two highly anticipated IPOs, have increased their initial public offering valuations, but it is important to approach these valuations with caution.

Challenges in the IPO Market

The current IPO market differs significantly from the frenzy of 2020 and 2021. Companies are now contending with record-high inflation, interest rate hikes, concerns for the banking sector, and volatile markets. The majority of IPOs this year have been trading below their IPO price, indicating the difficulties faced by smaller cap companies, especially those based outside the U.S. However, the first major tech IPOs of the year, including Instacart and Klaviyo, are seen as a turning point, signaling a potential recovery.

The Impact of Valuations and Market Conditions

The rising cost of raising capital due to interest rate hikes has affected the future cash flows of companies and their overall valuations. The standstill in the IPO market since 2021, coupled with the state of the global economy, has also put a damper on valuations. However, there is some positive news. Valuations are now considered more reasonable compared to the exuberant levels seen two years ago. Investors are increasingly focused on profitability, and companies are recognizing the importance of presenting a strong fundamental base.

Implications for Venture Capital-Backed Companies

The lower valuations of companies like Instacart and Klaviyo could set the tone for other venture capital-backed companies and tech IPOs in the future. It is expected to be a challenge for these companies to achieve a significant valuation jump upon their public market debut. The opportunity for tech debuts may be slower over the rest of the year, but there is potential for a more typical IPO market by early 2024.

Considerations for Investing in IPO Stocks

Investing in IPO stocks requires careful consideration. IPOs can experience volatile trading in the initial weeks or months after listing. It is advisable not to chase the crowd and to have an exit strategy in mind. Waiting for a major pullback after the initial excitement can often be a more prudent approach. Additionally, while these tech IPOs may be growth companies, recent profitability does not guarantee long-term profitability. The market's focus on growth is crucial, and in an uncertain market with rising inflation and interest rates, riskier tech stocks may face challenges. In conclusion, the slow resurgence of the tech IPO market demands careful evaluation of valuations and market conditions. Companies need to demonstrate continued growth, profitability, and reasonable valuations to thrive in the IPO market. Investors should approach IPO stocks with caution, considering the potential risks and uncertainties in the current market environment.


The gradual resurgence of the tech IPO market presents both opportunities and challenges for new businesses. The current market conditions, characterized by cautious optimism and a more discerning investor base, call for a strategic approach to public listings.

Implications for New Businesses

For startups, this shift in the IPO market underscores the importance of demonstrating solid fundamentals, sustainable growth, and profitability. Businesses need to be prepared for a more thorough scrutiny of their valuations and growth prospects, as investors are becoming increasingly focused on these aspects.
Lessons Learned
The key takeaway for new businesses is the need for careful planning and realistic valuation in the face of a potentially slow and bumpy IPO resurgence. The experiences of companies like Instacart and Klaviyo highlight the importance of adjusting expectations and strategies to suit the changing market conditions. In conclusion, the slow resurgence of the tech IPO market offers valuable lessons for new businesses. By understanding these market dynamics and adjusting their strategies accordingly, startups can better navigate the challenges and opportunities of the public market. As the tech IPO market continues to evolve, it is crucial for new businesses to stay informed and adaptable.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/18/tech-ipos-are-back-deal-valuations-are-rising-dont-get-fooled-again.html
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