Charted: Four Decades Of U.S. Tech IPOs

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A chart with the number of tech IPOs on American exchanges from 1980–2023.

Big technology companies have been enjoying a wave of stock market success, driving much of the growth in the S&P 500 index since the pandemic. Five of the companies currently dubbed the “Magnificent Seven” are behemoths in the tech space, with market capitalizations rivaling the size of entire countries’ GDPs.

We visualize the number of tech IPOs on American exchanges from 1980–2023. Data is sourced from “Initial Public Offerings: Updated Statistics” a database run by economist Jay R. Ritter, from the Warrington College of Business, University of Florida.

Tech stocks are defined as internet-related stocks plus other technology stocks, not including biotech

New Tech Listings in 2021 Broke a 20-Year-Record

From the heydays of the Dotcom boom, when more than 350 companies hit the exchanges in 1999, the number of tech IPOs has dropped steeply over the years.

In fact, the Dotcom boom, driven by investor enthusiasm for internet technologies, and subsequent bust, due to a lack of capital and business viability, left a significant impact on the market. Tech IPOs stayed in the double-digits for the next 20 years.

However, 2021 saw a significant uptick after demand for digital services soared due to pandemic-related lockdowns and social distancing measures. This raised the prospects for new tech listings, especially in the e-commerce and remote work spaces.

As a result, the number of American tech IPOs hit a 20-year-high (126) that year. Notable companies that listed included: online gaming platform Roblox, dating app Bumble, and project-management software company

Since then, however, tech IPOs once again dropped to single digits in both 2022 and 2023. This is largely driven by interest rates, as hawkish central banks dampened private valuations and market sentiments.

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