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Pandora and Zillow and Zynga Oh My! High Visibility IPOs of 2011 So Far

September 13, 2011

On occasion, we at blogmosaic highlight recent initial public offerings that strike us as strange or interesting.  In many cases, their strangeness or interest is tied to their obscurity: these IPOs often represent the bold leaps of fledgeling capitalists who see going public as their last, best chance to raise the funds necessary to realize their big dreams.   Such offerings tend to be self-underwritten and stamped with the dreaded “Going Concern” label.

But of course not all interesting IPOs are obscure.  Today we take a look at some of this year’s most prominent initial public offerings— not necessarily the biggest ones (though many of these are), but those going-public registrations made by companies you’ve probably heard of, even patronized.   Here they are, with most recent first.  (Check out our 2011 IPO Registrations page for this year’s complete list to date.)

Photo by Jeff Kubina. Some rights reserved.

Restoration Hardware

  • Initial registration date:  September 9
  • Current IPO status:  Filed (pending)
  • Company self-descriptionLuxury brands in the home furnishings marketplace.

There’s one in a mall or shopping center near you.  Purveyors of high-end “furniture, lighting, textiles, bathware, décor, outdoor and garden, as well as baby and child products.”   Looking for an 1890s style metal lion head for your garden wall?  Of course you are.

The Caryle Group

  • Initial registration date: September 6
  • Current IPO status:  Filed (pending)
  • Company self-description: We are one of the world’s largest and most diversified multi-product global alternative asset management firms.

You may not have heard of them, but they’ve probably heard of you.  Private equity behemoth.   The New York Times’ DealBook explains why this is a big deal (in every sense of the phrase).

Angie’s List

  • Initial registration date:   August 25
  • Current IPO status:  Filed (pending)
  • Company self-description: We operate a consumer-driven solution for our members to research, hire, rate and review local professionals for critical needs, such as home, health care and automotive services.

Makes one feel nostalgic for the days when only students were obsessed with grades.

Norwegian Cruise Lines

  • Initial registration date:  July 15
  • Current IPO status:  Filed (pending)
  • Company self-description: We are a leading global cruise line operator, offering cruise experiences for travelers with a wide variety of itineraries in North America (including Alaska and Hawaii), the Mediterranean, the Baltic, Central America, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

Set a course for adventure, your mind on a new romance.


  • Initial registration date:  July 1
  • Current IPO status:  Filed (pending)
  • Company self-descriptionWe are the world’s leading social game developer with 232 million average MAUs in 166 countries.

MAUs, we learn from the IPO filing, means “monthly active users.”  If you’re on Facebook, there’s a pretty decent chance you’ve played a game built by Zynga; Farmville and Mafia Wars are two popular examples.


  • Initial registration date:  June 10
  • Current IPO status:  Filed (pending)
  • Company self-descriptionWe are a leading e-commerce platform enabling customers worldwide to create, buy and sell a wide variety of customized and personalized products.

Go to them, not us, if you want a Knowledge Mosaic Inc. sweatshirt or coffee mug.


  • Initial registration date:  June 2
  • Current IPO status:  Filed (pending) — but see below
  • Company self-descriptionGroupon is a local e-commerce marketplace that connects merchants to consumers by offering goods and services at a discount.

Groupon’s $750 million IPO registration made a splash, but the waters got choppy in a hurry.   Although nothing is official, many sources are reporting that Groupon will withdraw its IPO for now.

Dunkin’ Brands

  • Initial registration date:  May 4
  • Current IPO status:  Went effective July 26.
  • Company self-descriptionWe are the world’s leading franchisor of quick service restaurants (“QSRs”) serving hot and cold coffee and baked goods, as well as hard serve ice cream. We franchise restaurants under our Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands.

The doughnuts and ice cream of your youth.


  • Initial registration date:  April 18
  • Current IPO status:  Went effective July 19
  • Company self-description: Zillow is the leading real estate information marketplace. We provide vital information about homes, real estate listings and mortgages through our website and mobile applications . . .

My house is only worth what?!


  • Initial registration date:  February 11
  • Current IPO status:  Went effective July 19
  • Company self-descriptionPandora is the leader in internet radio in the United States, offering a personalized experience for each of our listeners. We have pioneered a new form of radio – one that uses intrinsic qualities of music to initially create stations and then adapts playlists in real-time based on the individual feedback of each listener.

Crowdsourcing for your music.  If you like The White Stripes, you will like The Black Keys, etc. etc..  Or at least that’s what the Pandora business model is founded on.


  • Initial registration date:  January 27
  • Current IPO status:  Went effective May 18
  • Company self-descriptionWe are the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 90 million members in over 200 countries and territories. Through our proprietary platform, members are able to create, manage and share their professional identity online, build and engage with their professional network, access shared knowledge and insights, and find business opportunities, enabling them to be more productive and successful.

Or, as The New Yorker’s John Cassidy succinctly puts it, “a networking site for yuppies.”  Using the wildly successful LinkedIn IPO as his example, Cassidy considers whether the ascendance of Web 2.0 will bring with it a Dot.Com Bubble 2.0 (and offer an occasion to “party like it’s 1999”).

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