January 29, 2015

Running With The Bulls

By Michael Fitzgerald

Last year heralded a worldwide bonanza for IPOs, with investors throwing nearly $250 billion at young companies. Boston startups including Care.com, Wayfair, and HubSpot went public, ending the region’s 19-month IPO drought. This year may prove even more exciting for the area’s techs.

Topping everyone’s watch list is Waltham’s Actifio, a data-storage-management company that attracted $100 million in venture capital in a single round last year. Other good local bets: Veracode, a security software company, and ad-tech giant DataX┼ź, as well as Acquia, which provides content management software. Local biotech, in contrast, might see fewer IPOs this year (16 Massachusetts firms went public in 2014). Recently, the sector has disappointed investors, but in late December, things began to look up when Seattle’s Juno Therapeutics broke records, increasing its value by 60 percent within one day of its IPO, then hitting $4 billion.

Local companies Inotek Pharmaceuticals, Syndax Pharmaceuticals, and EyeGate Pharmaceuticals have already announced their intentions. Meanwhile, SeresHealth, Nimbus Discovery, Blueprint Medicines, Voyager Therapeutics, and Dimension are also likely candidates. Bob Hower, a partner at Advanced Technology Ventures and cofounder of G20 Ventures, says, “I’m excited—we’re getting our mojo back.”