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I work for a company that has deferred its IPO from plan, and from what I understand the SOX regulatory burden has very little, if anything to do with it.

Credibility and providing liquidity for investors and shareholders are certainly important reasons why companies decide to go public. But there are also downsides to going public -- most notably the myopic time horizon of the public markets, which is a huge barrier to the kind of long-term product and user acquisition investments pursued by tech companies in particular.

You can weigh these factors against one another, but ultimately the fundamental reason a company IPOs is to raise a large sum of money at an attractive valuation. Given that investors are lining up to help private companies meet this goal, the ancillary drivers you mention just aren't enough to push companies over the edge into the public markets.

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