At the DLD Conference in Munich last week, I sat down for a few minutes with Bruce Aust to talk about the current tech IPO landscape and reflect back on 2012. Aust is an executive vice president and head of listings at NASDAQ OMX Group, which obviously owns and operates the NASDAQ stock market but also eight European stock exchanges.
Aust has been with NASDAQ OMX for nearly 15 years now, so he’s seen his fair share of IPOs and also spends quite a lot of time in Silicon Valley as the majority of the 3,400+ companies currently listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange are in the technology space, including juggernauts like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon.com.
As he shared with the Wall Street Journal, his presence at a European conference isn’t coincidental: turns out some 20 companies from these parts are currently looking to float on NASDAQ.
Aust wouldn’t share any information on which companies these are, but he told me that he sees a lot of interesting companies in these parts indeed, particularly in the ‘Internet consumer space’, the ‘data space’ and the ‘social media space’.
Looking back at 2012, Aust pointed out that 55 percent of the IPOs in the United States last year were on NASDAQ, and that this included the largest offering ever – of a certain social networking company.
Facebook’s IPO was indeed one hell of a whopper, but it was also rife with controversy, and that story hasn’t concluded yet.
Aust acknowledged during our interview that NASDAQ has definitely made mistakes with the Facebook offering, but also that the stock exchange’s win (and ‘switch’) rate in 2012, as well as the fact that are currently about 200 companies in the IPO pipeline for the coming years, proves that ‘going public’ hasn’t quite lost its shine yet.
Image credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND for AFP / Getty Images