Amid sharply declining equity markets in 2008, initial public offering activity fell sharply in 2008, although the year saw the biggest ever offering by credit card network Visa.

Number of offerings declined by 80.7 percent while the proceeds fell 54.9 percent, according to a new report from accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

There were a total of 57 IPOs with proceeds of $29.4 billion, compared with 296 IPOs with proceeds of $65.1 billion 2007, the report states.

Visa Inc raised $17.9 billion, which represents 60.9 percent of all proceeds raised in 2008.

Companies postponing or cancelling deals last year numbered 105, according to the report, compared to only 25 in 2007.