MuleSoft soars 46% on first day of trading

Its the first enterprise tech IPO of the year and its off to the races.

MuleSoft,which helps businesses like Netflix and Spotify with theirAPIs,closed at $24.75, a 46% premium to its IPO price of $17. This was after pricing above the expected range of $14 to $16.

The company was able to raise $221 million in the IPO, but they could have raised a lot more if they priced it at $20. Bankers usually aim for 20-30% pop on the first day to start off on good terms with the stock market. Ifthe company prices it too low that means they left money on the table.

This sounds a lot like Snap, which also priced above the range at $17 and went up almost as much on the first day of trading. But just two weeks later, Snap has already fallen beneath $20.

Its mainly institutional investors and high net-worth individuals with friendly relationships with the underwriting banks who got access at $17, as is the standard with IPOs. MuleSoft opened today at $24.25, so the $24.75 close means that ordinary investors saw pretty small gains.

MuleSoft went public on theNew York Stock Exchange on Friday under the ticker MULE. This is another win for the NYSE, after getting Snaps listing.

MuleSoft had $187.7 million in revenue last year, which is up from $110.3 million in 2015 and $57.6 million the year before. Net losses stood at$49.6 million, down from $65.4 million the year before.

The company previously raised $259 million in funding at a $1.5 billion valuation. Lightspeed Venture Partners hasthe largest stake at 17.1%, Hummer Winblad owns15.8% and New Enterprise Associates has 14.3% of the company shares. Morgenthaler Partners, Sapphire Ventures and Bay Partners also own a sizable chunk.

Ravi Mhatre, partner at Lightspeed, said he recognized the company was a good investment in the early daysbecause the founding team had a clear vision. Lightspeed also invested in recent IPOs Snap and Nutanix, with Mhatre saying their secret to picking winners is that they look for companies that are scalable and enduring.

Dharmesh Thakker, general partner at Battery Ventures missed out on the MuleSoft investment, but is optimistic about enterprise IPOs generally. Unlike consumer IPOs, enterprise IPOs see steady growth as opposed to explosive ups and downs, he said. Enterprise companies generally have more predictability to their business models, which serves them well as public companies.

The last couple of years have been disappointing for tech IPOs. Last year, very fewcompanies entered the public markets. And in 2015, half the newly public tech companies were trading below their IPO price by the end of the year.

There is an IPO window as bankers like to call it, and the success of recent IPOs means that it is now wide open. Venture-backed companies like Yext, Okta, Cloudera and Forescout are all on a long list of companies that are ready to brave the markets in the coming months.

Of course, windows can change and if thestock market sees some dips, that could prevent some of thesecompanies from going through with their offering. Andsome of the larger consumer companieslike Airbnb and Uber dont seem to be planning to go public in the near future.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/17/mulesoft-soars-46-on-first-day-of-trading/

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