According to the research from Ernst & Young (E&Y), global IPO activity was the lowest since the second quarter of 2009. In all, there were 157 deals, which raised about $14.3 billion. Keep in mind that the Facebook IPO is expected to raise over $10 billion (the offer should hit the markets in May).
But the E&Y report did have some optimism. First of all, it noted that the first quarter is usually weak (after all, bankers are coming back from the holidays). Plus, signs now show that IPO activity is starting to get better in Europe. For example, the Dutch cable company Ziggo was able to raise $1.1 billion. There was also an $897 million deal from DKSH Holding, an outsourcing firm.
It was actually the U.S. that saw the strongest momentum. There were 32 domestic deals, which raised $4.8 billion. And the most active category was technology. Some of the standout IPOs included Brightcove (NASDAQ:BCOV), Proto Labs (NYSE:PRLB), Demandware (NYSE:DWRE), Millennial Media (NYSE:MM) and Yelp (NASDAQ:YELP).