Startups Feel the Squeeze: Fluidigm Nixes IPO

Want to know what’s it like to try to take your company public during the Panic of 2008?

Check out my BusinessWeek online story about chipmaker Fluidigm, which began its road show on Friday September 5, right before before Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch got sold for a song to Bank of America.

Three weeks later, the company’s CEO Gajus V. Worthington pulled the plug on the initial public offering. Worthington realized he couldn’t proceed after money managers he met with in San Francisco told him they didn’t even know how long they’d have jobs. “You could smell the fear,” he says. “It was a black hole of anxiety.”

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