Facebook skews Q2 IPO dataJune 18, 2012: 1:54 PM ET
FORTUNE -- You know that old line about how you can make statistics say whatever you want them to say? Well, it's certainly going to be true of this quarter's IPO market for venture capital-backed companies.
Industry cheerleaders are sure to tout how VC-backed IPOs raised more money in Q2 2012 than in any other quarter in history, with two weeks still remaining. Pretty impressive stuff.
The more circumspect of us however, would note that almost all of that windfall is attributable to Facebook (FB), otherwise known as The Cooler.
Since Facebook priced its IPO on May 17, no other company has gone public on a U.S. exchange (let alone another VC-backed company). But plenty of other startups have postponed or canceled prospective offerings, while only one prospective issuer -- Exa Corp., a maker of simulation software for manufacturers -- remains on the June calendar.
VC-backed companies have raised over $16.7 billion through IPOs so far this quarter, including Facebook's $16 billion offering. The quarter's second-largest VC-backed IPO was for Splunk (SPLK), which raised $229.5 million on April 18.
But Facebook and Splunk were just two of eight VC-backed IPOs this quarter, which is the lowest quarterly total since Q3 2011 -- when just five companies priced before the dead ceiling showdown effectively shut the capital markets. The last time fewer than 10 VC-backed companies went public in a second quarter was 2009.
The best metric for judging Q2 may actually be to watch VC-backed IPO issuance in Q3. Dozens of companies have filed confidential registration statements with the SEC since the JOBS Act became law in April, meaning that many of them should come to market between July and September. If that happens, then Q2 should be celebrated for its record-breaking tally. But if the chill persists, then Q2 will be remembered for the big deal that killed off all the smaller ones.
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