NYSE’s Farley Talks Battle for Tech IPOs

PayPal announced Thursday that the payments company plans to list on the Nasdaq, after it splits from eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), a key win for the exchange as it struggles to maintain its lead in tech listings. Home to Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Nasdaq has held the reputation as the tech exchange, but the New York Stock Exchange has been encroaching on its territory.

Nasdaq narrowly edged out the NYSE this past year for total tech IPOs, but the exchange has lost out on some of the biggest tech deals, including GoDaddy (NYSE:GDDY), Lending Club (NYSE:LC) and Box (NYSE:BOX). The past year saw 24 technology companies list on the Nasdaq, compared with 18 on NYSE, but big wins like Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) gave NYSE 82% of the total volume, according to Dealogic.

Referring to tech as “the area of focus in our listings business,” NYSE President Tom Farley told FOXBusiness.com that the exchange wants to “be the friendliest, most efficient, best home for the high growth technology companies of today.”

Farley spoke of the historical legacy of the exchange, touting its iconic bell podium as a selling point for prospective companies. NYSE has “been a great American and global institution for 223 years,” said Farley.

In the coming weeks, wearable device maker, Fitbit and e-commerce platform Shopify are expected to complete their offerings on the NYSE.

But don’t count the Nasdaq out. The exchange secured listings for Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY) and GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) and it has garnered most of the biotech IPOs, an area that is booming right now.

“Nasdaq continues to be the home of the most innovative growth companies,” Nelson Griggs, executive vice president of the Nasdaq, told FOXBusiness.com. “Our dedication to equites coupled with our state of the art trading platform creates an unmatched experience for IPOs to raise capital and become successful public companies.”

“We have healthy competition between our exchanges,” said Kathleen Smith, principal at IPO ETF manager, Renaissance Capital (NYSE:IPO). “It’s the American way and speaks to the importance of the tech sector.”

As seen with the tech listings, Nasdaq wins the battle for total IPOs across all sectors, but lags in volume. 2014, the strongest IPO year since the dot-com boom, saw 176 Nasdaq IPOs and 111 list on NYSE. Yet NYSE saw $72 billion in proceeds, compared to $24 billion for the Nasdaq.

While 2015 has been off to a slower start, favorable equity market conditions should encourage a plethora of IPOs in the latter half of the year.

The IPO business is “picking back up again,” said Farley. “We’re going to get really nice traction” during the remainder of the year.