A total of 170 IPOs were conducted in 2015, according to Renaissance Capital. $30 billion of gross proceeds was raised in 2015, with a median deal size of $95.3 million—the lowest figures since 2009. In their 2015 U.S. IPO Market Report, Renaissance attributed these low figures to a number of factors, including Federal Reserve and European monetary policies, poor IPO performance and increased M&A and private market transactions. 2015’s dollar volume declined 53% from 2014, which excludes Alibaba’s $22 billion offering.
Healthcare IPOs made up 46% of all IPOs in 2015, raising $6.7 billion. This is an increase from 37% in 2014 due to continued heightened activity in the biotech sector. 167 biotech IPOs have been conducted in the last three years, with the average biotech IPO raising 15% more proceeds than in 2014. There were only 110 non-biotech IPOs conducted in 2015. Surprisingly, the tech sector dropped 58%, making up only 14% of all IPO activity for 2015, raising $4.2 billion—the lowest figures since 2009. Renaissance attributes tech’s decline in offerings to an abundance of pre-IPO funding and ongoing disparity between public and private market valuations. The energy sector also dropped significantly, making up 7% of all IPOs, raising $5.5 billion—a 60% drop from 2014.
2015 also saw the absence of large issuers. The 10 largest U.S. IPOs raised $9.9 billion, the lowest since 2005. These IPOs averaged first-day returns of 16% only to follow with average total returns of -15%. Overall IPO performance has also weakened. 58% of IPOs traded below their offer price, in comparison to 41% in 2014. The average total return for IPOs in 2015 was -3.8%, negative for the first time since 2011.
Private equity-backed IPOs made up 23% of all IPOs in 2015. The 39 deals raised $11.3 billion, well below the $25 billion raised in 2014. Venture capital-backed IPOs made up half of all IPOs in 2015 but only raised $8.9 billion, which is a 35% decline from 2014, excluding the Alibaba IPO. Eight of 2015’s top ten IPOs had VC funding.