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Search firm Elastic joins IPO spree; stock doubles on debut day

Open source search engine Elastic is the latest to debut in the American stock markets, joining the many tech firms that went public in recent months. Upholding the trend set by some of them, Elastic managed a blockbuster opening on Friday.

Soon after it started trading in the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ESTC, the stock gained about 104%. The sharp gain outshined even the exceptional debut-day performances by DocuSign (DOCU) and Dropbox (DBX). What makes the rally particularly interesting is it comes on a day when most tech stocks and the S&P index witnessed a notable slide.

In the IPO, Elastic offered about seven million shares of its ordinary stock to raise $252 million. The terms of the offering give underwriters the option to buy an additional 1.05 million shares over a period of 30 days.

What makes the stock rally interesting is it comes on a day when most tech stocks witnessed a notable slide

The pricing of the IPO was even more dramatic, with the company initially fixing the price in the $26-$28 per share range and raising it to $33-35 per share this month. A day before the IPO, Elastic hiked the price further to $36 per share. Defying all speculations, the stock opened at $70, nearly double its original price, lifting the company’s valuation to an estimated $4.86 billion.

What is happening in the IPO market?

Elastic CEO Shay Banon attributed the strong rally on the first day to the favorable feedback provided by the company’s loyal customers to prospective investors, in the run-up to the IPO. Though Elastic offers its search services primarily through the cloud divisions of Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOGL), the trio also competes with each other. The other competitors include Micro Focus and Splunk.

Elastic, headquartered in Mountain View, California, recorded an 80% annual growth in revenues in the July quarter, when its net loss nearly doubled to $18.6 million. Now that the IPO has turned out to be a success, more tech companies in the open source arena are expected to go for public listing. A total of 25 businesses, including seven Chinese firms, filed for IPO in September alone, raising a combined capital of around $6.4 billion.

Full list of IPOs that happened in September 2018

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