Good thing, too — because a variety of top tech operators are getting ready to pull off deals in 2014.
Sure, their success isn’t guaranteed. After all, the “window” for IPOs can shut quickly. Heck, perhaps lost amid the Twitter excitement is that investors have actually been selling off social stocks like Yelp (YELP) and LinkedIn (LNKD). And if that trend continues — that could make a rough environment for a sustainable IPO rebound.
But assuming the bull is on, what are some candidates we should look forward to in 2014? Here’s a glimpse at four:
Alibaba is China’s largest e-commerce operator. To give you an idea of its scale, the company generated $5.78 billion across 171 million orders in one day this year from China’s version of “Black Monday.”
All of America spent $1.5 billion online during Black Monday 2012.
As for an IPO, the company’s management wanted to list in Hong Kong but the regulations were too stringent. So it looks like Alibaba will pull off a deal in the U.S. sometime in 2014. The valuation could reach more than $100 billion, which would make it the largest tech deal since Facebook.
The offering should result in a nice payday for Yahoo (YHOO), which continues to hold a 24% stake in Alibaba.
Box operates a cloud-based platform for file sharing and content management that’s focused on disrupting Microsoft’s (MSFT) dominant SharePoint franchise.
The company got its first outside funding from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in 2005. Since then, Box has had little troubling attracting investors, raising a total of $309 million in funding.
Dorsey is the co-founder of Twitter, in which he has a $1.5 billion stake. But his day job is also the CEO of Square, which is a red-hot payments operator that could go public within the next year.
He co-founded the company back in 2009 without a care about the financial crisis. His vision: that smartphones and tablets from Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) would become the virtual wallet for e-commerce. To this end, he created readers that attached to to device, allowing for the easy processing of credit and debit cards.
Square doesn’t actually need the money from an IPO — it has raised about $341 million from players ranging from Sequoia Capital and Tiger Technology Global Management to Visa (V) and Starbucks (SBUX).
According to a Wall Street Journal report, Square is expected to generate anywhere from $110 million to $165 million in net revenues for 2013. Dorsey reportedly also has a plan to make Square profitable by 2015.
GrubHub Seamless is the product of a merger between two online restaurant delivery services that now boasts operations in more than 40 cities in the U.S. and has a network of more than 10,000 restaurants.
It also has enough revenues to get the interest of IPO investors. For 2013, sales are likely to climb by 40% to more than $200 million.
The company has a few issues. For one, there’s emerging competition from Yelp and Amazon (AMZN) Fresh. Then there’s also the suspension of its exclusive deals with restaurants, which New York City Attorney General Eric Schneiderman insisted upon during merger talks.
But the company clearly is targeting an area of increasing demand, and the merger gives GrubHub and Seamless a lot more clout to work with.
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook. He is also the author of High-Profit IPO Strategies, All About Commodities and All About Short Selling. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.