9 tech IPOs worth waiting for
It's been a while since a technology IPO was a good idea. Here are some great new choices.
NEW YORK (FORTUNE) - It takes consistent profits to qualify for an IPO these days. Even solid companies are waiting longer before trying, and many just sell to big corporations instead. Here are nine tech companies that seem likely to go public in the near future. These nine could be some of the movers and shakers in the new tech boom, and investors should keep an eye on them.
Calix, a Petaluma, Calif.-based company founded in 1999, makes gear that revs up old copper and fiber phone lines so that they can handle high-speed video. It's also hot in the IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) market. And while the company said that it doesn't have any plans to file for an IPO, some industry watchers think that it could go soon.
GoDaddy.com's memorable advertisements during the Super Bowl caught the attention of viewers, and its leadership in the discount domain name and hosting business with 12 million domains under management has investment bankers drooling. The company had no comment on a future IPO, but reportedly hired Lehman Brothers to manage the process.
Hands-On Mobile, formerly Mforma, publishes downloadable games, ring tones, horoscopes and customized messaging for cellphones. And on April 5th, it announced two new offerings - prayers from Pat Boone called Daily Devotions and entertaining greetings brought to you by rock-star Tommy Lee. It's another business taking part in mobile madness and investors should keep their eyes peeled for a public offering.
Are you a homesick expat with broadband? JumpTV streams 140 channels from more than 50 countries to Internet-enabled devices. Get access to your favorite Mumbai-based news broadcast or Romanian soccer game for about $9.95 a month. The Toronto-based company isn't talking about going public right now, but there are rumblings up north and on Wall Street.
Motricity's software helps wireless carriers like Cingular, Sprint (Research) and Virgin Mobile (Research) sell downloadable photos, videos and ringtones from content providers. Motricity has a catalog of more than 600,000 media titles and reaches more than 120 million consumers worldwide. VC's have thrown in $90 million so far and we think they'll want their money back. An IPO seems likely.
Inktomi vets founded software and hardware company Riverbed Technology to improve the efficiency of Wide Area Network usage, optimizing traffic flow in both directions. Unlike others on this list, Riverbed is in an official quiet period having filed its S-1 on April 20. Look for the IPO possibly sometime this summer on the NASDAQ, ticker RVBD.
Tech Target is a conglomeration of Web sites, magazines, conferences big and small, Web casts, and white papers all focused on enterprise IT. One hundred full-time reporters write for Tech Target's publishing properties to inform its four million unique visitors a month. And while they don't need the money per se, I-bankers have been calling, putting a possible IPO on the radar.
Software and services company Local Matters helps yellow pages publishers and directory assistance providers make the most of their local knowledge online. Local is a hot topic for search these days and with Google (Research) and others always trying to keep an edge, this company might be in a sweet spot.
Glu Mobile's bread and butter is games for mobile phones, but also has a hot sports application from Fox with sports news and information. Its most popular game in North America is Deer Hunter, which debuted on mobile phones in December of 2004. Other hits include Zuma, DRIVER: VEGAS and Diner Dash. It has raised just under $58 million from investors like Sienna Ventures and Time Warner Investments (Time Warner (Research) is the parent company of FORTUNE and CNNMoney.com) and has opened offices in San Mateo, Calif., London, Manchester and Hong Kong. While there is no official discussion of timing of an IPO, it certainly does not seem out of the question.