Keeping Track: initial public offerings

IPOs slid in 2001, but rebounded late in the year

Not surprisingly, the number of initial public offerings in the US was down last year. The difference among venture-backed IPOs - as opposed to spinoffs of existing firms or established private firms that went public - was even more striking.

After two banner years, 1999 and 2000, when 233 and 226 companies, respectively, went public backed by venture capital (VC), 2001 saw just 37 such IPOs.

Still, some economists point to the fourth-quarter rebound of the IPO market - it was the strongest quarter of the year - as a good sign for 2002's VC market.

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