The spigot of new stock offerings is gradually turning on again in the dot-com space.
There weren't too many companies going public in 2009, but Internet companies were fairly represented with web-based vitamin retailers, restaurant reservation specialists, and a couple of Chinese online gaming companies taking their chances.
The new year promises more of the same. The market's been rallying since March, and tech stocks have been leading the charge.
In no particular order, here are a few of the cyberspace companies that I would like to see go the IPO route in 2010.
One of the planet's most popular online destinations is finally starting to slow down. It took just two months for its registered rolls to go from 250 million to 300 million, but it took a little bit longer than that to go from 300 million to 350 million. This doesn't mean that Facebook has peaked, of course. It's also not indicative of the sticky usage rates that find folks spending more time on the site. However, no one would blame Facebook for cashing in while the going is still good, as any pupil of social networking's history can attest after seeing Friendster and MySpace squander their fleeting opportunities at the top.
The price comparison site that disrupted travel portals and individual service providers may also want to cash out while the going is good. Microsoft's
The ambitious marketer of discounted domain name registrations with its titillating television ads seemed all ready to go public three years ago. It didn't happen, naturally, but now GoDaddy is reaching out to a larger Internet audience in a kinder market climate. Besides, there aren't too many dot-com Super Bowl advertisers that aren't public.
We may never officially know who was the one to walk away from Google's
When Electronic Arts
The road to monetization still isn't clear when it comes to one of the Internet's most talked about sites, but no company has a birthright to buzz. Twitter's brand may never be hotter than it is right now, especially as Amazon.com
Before the residential real estate market went bust, Zillow was a hotshot of home listings and nail-biting homeowners tracking the worth of their digs. It may be hard to justify an IPO until the industry turns around, but there are a few promising signs that housing prices are starting to bottom out.
I can certainly see a few of these companies going public next year. If not, many of them will likely be acquired in 2010, as larger companies try to cash in on hot trends or nab disruptors in the crib.
Crack those knuckles, underwriters. There's work to be done.