NEW YORK ( TheStreet -- 2011 was a dismal year for IPOs.
Volume totaled 330 deals, down 30% from 2010, and the average return was a negative 10.3%, according to Renaissance Capital. Activity dried up at the end of summer as the Europe's sovereign debt crisis took hold.
One sector that was well-represented though was the Internet with 24 companies making their public debuts, the most in 10 years. While that number is definitely a huge drop from 1999's 212 offerings, it's still double the 11 deals launched in 2010.
Some of the biggest deals were net-related with Bankrate (RATE), Groupon (GRPN), Zynga (ZNGA) and LinkedIn (LNKD) raising $2.4 billion alone. The technology sector led on volume with 44 companies going public.Private equity-backed IPOs were prominent as well, raising more than $20 billion on just 35 deals. Even though the economy continued to struggle with unemployment, retailers and consumer stock offerings were some of the best performers in the aftermarket. Fashion house Michael Kors (KORS) got off to a great start as did specialty tea chain Teavana (TEA) and retailer Francescas (FRAN). Here are the top five IPOs of 2011.