A month after the $16 billion mammoth but botched initial public offering of Facebook (Nasdaq: FB), the No. 1 social networking site, the ice may be breaking for technology companies.
A couple are testing the IPO waters, with plans to raise cash in the next few weeks, as a new survey by BDO USA, the No. 5 accounting firm, of 100 investment bankers found optimism for the second half of 2012.
Not only will technology lead the IPO pack, with 73 of the bankers anticipating an increase, but the average amount raised will be around $221 million, the BDO survey conducted this month found.
That will be below the average of $405 million raised per IPO in the first half -- but it's still ahead of the $176 million average when Facebook's king-sized IPO is not counted, the survey by Market Measurement Inc. found.
These are still good-sized offerings, said Lee Graul, a partner in BDO's Chicago office. The investment bankers are seeing more activity in technology because it's an increasing part of our lives.
So far this month, software developer ServiceNow of San Diego, a developer of Cloud-based enterprise software, has given the go-ahead to raise about $200 million. The lead underwriter is Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), the same as for Facebook.
ServiceNow had filed its IPO documents on March 30, about two months after Facebook's IPO captured investor attention. The company's CEO is Frank Stootman, former CEO of storage specialist DataDomain before it was acquired by EMC (NYSE: EMC), the No. 1 company in the storage sector.
The company has raised funds from JMI Equity as well as Sequoia Capital, both well-known technology investors.
Another software developer, Exa Corp., of Burlington, Mass., is seeking to raise about $94 million in a deal managed by Stifel Nicolaus Weisel. The company's PowerFlow software is deployed by automobile makers for simulating complex flow problems and aerodynamics.
Among its backers are FMR, the holding company for the Fidelity mutual funds; Boston Capital Ventures and Apollo Computer entrepreneur John William Poduska.
Exa had filed its IPO documents last Aug. 3 but submitted an updated version on Monday, a signal it will move ahead now.
Renaissance Capital, which specializes in IPOs, reports just 39 IPO filings so far in 2012, compared with 98 a year ago. IPO withdrawals are 28, compared with 24 by mid-June 2011.
Facebook shares Tuesday rose 51 cents to close at $31.92. They were priced at $38 on May 17.