October - 2013 - issue > In My Opinion

Asia's Growing Role in Technology IPOs. Will the Balance of Power in the Tech World Move to the East?

Raman Chitkara
Global Leader Technology-PwC
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Raman Chitkara
PricewaterhouseCoopers (trading as PwC) is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, UK with offices in 776 locations in 158 countries.

Ask investors, analysts and executives to name the most innovative industry and most will say technology. Disruptive innovation creates new opportunities for growth for innovators and rapid deceleration of fortunes for those that cannot keep up. Most will also advise to look at startups in the technology sector to find real innovation. Innovation thrives in an environment free of barriers and restrictions, one that encourages pure creativity and problem-solving without getting bogged down in process, structure or bottom line. A mature company—no matter how innovative the culture—faces a number of barriers, from rigid R&D processes to risk-adverse shareholders and the need to protect current products and profits.

Consequently, startup companies have been at the forefront of disruptive innovation. The U.S., and in particular Silicon Valley, is home to some of the most innovative technology companies over the past four decades, witness Apple, Intel and HP for example. Validation of innovation at startups often results in a successful initial public offering of its shares.

From a historical perspective, the technology industry sees a new inflection every 14-15 years. From 1959-1976, the focus was mainframe computers. The mid-70s to early 90s was the heyday of the PC, followed by the network and Internet boom. In 2008, mobile computing emerged. As a keen observer of and participant in the ever-changing technology industry, I look to venture funding and IPO trends for hints on what the next inflexion point might be, so let’s look at some of the past years’ data on global technology IPOs.

Technology IPOs - A Shifting Landscape

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