The new (unexpected) IPO hotspot

Contact: Brenon Daly

Forget Silicon Valley or New York or even Boston. The new tech IPO hotspot is a place that typically only gets flown over by investment bankers looking in the more traditional locations for the next companies trying to make it public. What’s the exotic and (potentially) lucrative new launch pad? Indianapolis. That’s right, the same city that has seen its football team go winless so far this season is putting up big points on the board for IPOs.

One company based in Indiana’s capital has already gone public this month, and another one has just followed up with a prospectus of its own. Angie’s List raised more than $100m in its mid-November offering. (The subscription-based service review site priced its shares at the high end of their expected range, and has seen them trade back down to around the offer price.) And just before Thanksgiving, ExactTarget filed its paperwork for a $100m IPO of its own.

Or, more accurately in the case of ExactTarget, the online marketer has re-filed for an IPO. It originally filed its S-1 almost exactly four years ago, but pulled that in mid-2009 as the equity market melted down. In the intervening years, ExactTarget has gotten substantially bigger. In fact, the company’s revenue in its most recent quarter ($55m in Q3) is higher than its total for the last year it was on file (full-year 2007 sales of $48m).

Another area it has bulked up: its underwriting team. Although ExactTarget originally went with a full slate of midmarket banks to bring it public, it now has bulge-bracket firms J.P. Morgan Securities and Deutsche Bank Securities leading the deal, along with original sole lead Stifel Nicolaus Weisel (or Thomas Weisel Partners, as it was known back then).