The initial public offering market has returned for venture-backed technology companies. Not since 1999 have we seen such a steady stream of IPOs for tech companies. The boom in tech IPOs has resulted in outsized returns for top venture funds. As I have pointed out in prior articles on venture returns, while the majority of venture exits are through M&A exits, the largest returns tend to come from IPOs and a strong IPO market tends to drive stronger returns in the M&A markets as well.
The venture sector has long been defined by big wins on disruptive tech companies, balanced by far more numerous losing bets. But in recent months, an unusually large number of venture investments have logged multibillion-dollar profits, setting many firms up for their greatest returns since the dot-com boom of the late 1990s.