Venture capitalists expect initial public offerings to remain slow for the next year and a half, according to a survey released Tuesday from auditing firm KPMG.
In a poll of nearly 300 venture capitalists, corporate buyers, bankers and entrepreneurs, 79 percent of the respondents expect “a strong stream” of IPO activity to begin in 2010 or later.
While only 9 percent of the respondents said they think activity will pick up next year, 40 percent expect a turnaround in 2010, 24 percent in 2011 and 15 percent in 2012 – and 12 percent don’t think future IPO activity ever will completely rebound, KPMG said.
Blaming the slumping U.S. economy and unstable markets, VCs now expect to have to wait longer for exits, too. According to the survey, 67 percent of respondents said their exit timelines have been extended by more than 12 months, while 19 percent said they expect a delay of six to 12 months.
Opinions about when exits will pick up are mixed.
PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association in May predicted the industry would see more IPOs and acquisitions next year (see Greentech Exits Ahead?, Funding Roundup: Solar, Biofuels Dominate Light Week and Funding Roundup: Exits About to Enter?).
And Eric Wesoff, a senior analyst at Greentech Media Research, said in July that he expected at least a few IPOs in the next few quarters (see Greentech Taps VCs for Record Investments in 2Q).
To name a few examples, water-desalination company Energy Recovery raised $68.7 million in its IPO earlier this month, while GT Solar announced plans to raise up to $609 million in its IPO (see Funding Roundup: Slow IPOs, Big Ambitions, Solar Firms Prep for Growth, Despite Stock Volatility and Funding Roundup: Solar Still Reigns).
According to KPMG, the greentech industry is the “runaway favorite” to lead the IPO turnaround. Forty four percent of the respondents expect greentech to be on the front end of the turnaround, while the second-place answer, digital entertainment, garnered 16 percent of the votes.
Greentech is also expected to raise the most venture funding next year, according to 27 percent of the respondents, followed by digital entertainment at 23 percent and mobile technology at 20 percent.
"There is no question that economic and market conditions have dealt the IPO market a blow," said KPMG partner Packy Kelly. "These conditions have led investment firms to hold positions longer, but will not hinder their appetites to continue to invest in attractive sectors, such as greentech and mobile, as they anticipate a more attractive IPO market for these companies in the near future."