Eyeing Future IPO, A Rarity for SD Software Firms, Tealium Adds $55M

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While the number of IPOs and volume of proceeds in the first quarter was dampened by the partial government shutdown, more than half the businesses that went public during that period were in life sciences. That augurs well for San Diego, which has historically been strong in the sector, Holl said.

“From the perspective of who did get out, of the 22, 13 of them were life science companies, so that does bode well for San Diego,” he said. “As long as there’s appetite for this life science window, we’ll continue to see companies trying to access those public markets.”

Outside of San Diego, though, the IPOs that are drawing the most attention are those of massive tech companies. That could be auspicious for local firms considering entering the fray.

“I think it helps the overall market and the market enthusiasm and the success of those may help them make their decisions as to when they may want to do it,” Holl said earlier this year of local tech companies that are considering raising public funds.

It’s too soon to say how recent underwhelming offerings—that of Uber in particular—and the nascent trade war with China will factor into companies’ IPO considerations.

Another local software company that’s anticipated to make a big IPO splash is Seismic, which late last year brought on board a ServiceNow alum as its CFO and hauled in a Series E round of $100 million. Then, CEO Doug Winter told Xconomy the company would be prepared to go public by late 2019.

It’s not quite a Lyft/Uber situation, since Seismic and Tealium aren’t direct competitors, but there are debates in the local tech community as to which will make its debut first. The hope, of course, is that those who make out well from such an event would reinvest in the San Diego tech ecosystem.

“[An IPO] would hopefully free up the founding team to help mentor and advise a lot of other companies, and possibly even have the ability to be investors in early-stage companies,” said Neal Bloom, a local entrepreneur, angel investor, and startup community organizer. “It’s not just a check, but someone who can help with advice, opening doors, and more.”

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Sarah de Crescenzo is an Xconomy editor based in San Diego. You can reach her at sdecrescenzo@xconomy.com. Follow @sarahdc

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