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Is the Era of Hot Tech IPOs Over?

Trey Thoelcke

Since 2011, Facebook Inc. (FB), LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD), Groupon Inc. (GRPN), Yelp Inc. (YELP), Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P), Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZYNGA) and most recently Twitter (TWTR) have all gone public, some more successfully than others. But have we seen the last of the hot tech initial public offerings (IPOs) for the foreseeable future? The answer is both yes and no.

There are plenty more trendy services, largely aimed at users of mobile devices, that could line up to go public, including the likes of Box, King.com, Pinterest, Snapchat, Spotify and Square. However, with the possible exception of Square, none of them are as widely recognized as Facebook or Twitter.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 indexes keep hitting new highs, and sentiment among venture capitalists is also strong. So the market remains favorable for tech IPOs.

Pinterest has received $425 million in venture capital this year. The company was recently valued at nearly $4 billion, but it could be several years before it shows a profit.

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Snapchat reportedly just turned down a $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook. China's Tencent Holdings supposedly also showed an interest in investing in the company at a $4 billion valuation.

Square, a payments startup established by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, reportedly is in discussions with bankers for a 2014 IPO.

Other rumored IPOs come not from social media players but companies with businesses as their customers. File-sharing services provider Dropbox, customer relationship software maker SugarCRM, green-tech firm Opower and marketing software firm HubSpot are among them, though none have actually filed for an IPO so far.

Executives from Pinterest, apartment-rental site Airbnb, note-taking service Evernote and on-demand car services app Uber have all denied rumors of impending IPOs. But it is not unusual for firms to be coy while they get their ducks in a row.

There are certainly more high-tech IPOs to come, though few, if any, will generate the kind of buzz that Facebook and Twitter did by coming public.

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