|Facebook's IPO has shifted the goalposts for other tech IPOs.|
BLOX) and Demandware ( DWRE) enjoyed favorable public debuts prior to the Facebook fiasco, but warn that the goalposts have shifted for companies following suit.
"Unfortunately, because of all the hype about Facebook and because its IPO wasn't successful, it's going to affect other companies that have fundamentally good businesses," Robert Thomas, the CEO of Infoblox, said in an interview. "It does have a negative effect on the tech space -- investors are wary." Infoblox, which recently posted blowout third-quarter results, made its public debut in late April during in a busy week for tech IPOs. "In the week that we went public, Splunk ( SPLK) and Proofpoint ( PFPT) also went public," Thomas said. "There was high sentiment about tech companies -- you would have expected Facebook to accelerate that sentiment, as opposed to collapse it." Reports emerged this week that online travel specialist Kayak had stalled its push toward an IPO. Citing people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported that Kayak didn't launch its IPO "roadshow," which had been expected to start around Memorial Day. Kayak declined to provide comment for this story. Scott Sweet, senior managing partner at IPO advisory firm IPO Boutique, described the Facebook offering as nothing short of a "disaster." "I have never seen anything like it," he said in an interview. "Facebook has really cost investors, in some cases, millions -- they have little love for
lead underwriter Morgan Stanley ( MS)." Until the Facebook share sale, 2012 had been a good year for tech IPOs. Prior to the Facebook offering, IPO expert Renaissance Capital said tech firms have accounted for 20 U.S. IPOs valued at more than $50 million each this year, the most in any sector. Last year there were a total of 48 tech offerings. Firewall maker Palo Alto Networks and cloud specialists Reval and ServiceNow all filed S-1s with the Securities and Exchange Commission recently. But IPO Boutique's Sweet doesn't anticipate any initial share sales soon. Companies gearing up for IPOs, he says, are "kind of in a holding pattern." Palo Alto Networks, Reval and ServiceNow haven't yet responded to requests for comment on this story.