The folks over at SecondMarket released their Q2 report today, detailing the crazy world of trading stock in companies that haven’t gone public yet.
SecondMarket launched in April 2009, spurred by the fact that few tech companies had gone public — leaving employees and early investors holding stock that was essentially illiquid, unless they could arrange a private sale to an interested buyer.
Now, however, the frozen tech IPO market has been thawing. And other companies are going the buyout route.
Obviously, that’s shaking up the stats for those left in the private market. Let’s take a look, shall we?
The top 10 most watched companies on SecondMarket is not exactly a shocking list but, as we’ll discuss, there are some issues with a few of these:
9. Gilt Groupe
Verrrry interesting (I would run my fingers through my beard here if I had one); nearly a third of these top ten are out of the game now.
Our No. 3, Groupon, filed for an IPO last month. Zynga, the cleanup hitter, followed suit a few weeks later. Sixth man Skype announced in May that Microsoft will buy it for $8.5 billion.
I asked SecondMarket who came in at No. 11 and would have cracked the top ten list if Skype had been removed. Funny enough, it’s another company in play for a buyout: red-hot Hulu.
Further mucking the top ten list for last quarter: two completed IPOs. LinkedIn and Pandora emerged in the public arena in Q2, freeing up space for Dropbox and LivingSocial to make the most-watched list.
It’s been interesting to watch how a looser IPO and buyout market has affected SecondMarket. With fewer private companies and less pent-up demand on the buyside, SecondMarket’s transaction totals in the sector have declined.
In Q4, transactions doubled to $158 million. But then they slipped to $156 million in Q1 (the company revised the originally reported figure much higher in Tuesday’s report), and fell to $112 million this past quarter.
Still, as the big names leave private markets for potentially greener pastures, of course some new hotshots are rising in the ranks. SecondMarket’s “rising stars” list for Q2 is, in order: Kickstarter, PopCap, SharesPost (a SecondMarket competitor! meta!), LegalZoom and Lending Club.
But there’s trouble with this list, too: PopCap was snapped up by Electronic Arts this month. And so the tech world turns. —Julianne