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Eventbrite's IPO Is a Hot Ticket as Stock Surges 59% in First Day of Trading

Kevin Kelleher
Eventbrite's IPO Is a Hot Ticket as Stock Surges 59% in First Day of Trading

Shares of online-ticketing company Eventbrite rose 59% in their first day of trading as investors clamored for what looks to be a dwindling supply of brand-name tech IPOs in the final months of 2018.

Eventbrite’s stock, which listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker EB, rose as much as 71% to $39.30 a share on Thursday before closing at $36.50. The company initially priced its offering from $19 to $21 a share, but high demand raised the final offering price to $23.

At that price, Eventbrite’s IPO raised $230 million.

Eventbrite created its online service for live-event ticketing 12 years ago. According to a letter from Eventbrite’s founders in the IPO prospectus, the idea behind the site was not only to make it easier for people to organize and distribute tickets for free and paid live events, but also to address a need for face-to-face connections in an era in which people increasingly connect through social networks and other digital platforms.

Last year, Eventbrite created tickets for 3 million events in 170 countries. Its revenue grew 51% to $202 million in 2017 while its net loss declined to $1.98 a share from $2.48 a share. In the first six months of 2018, revenue growth accelerated to 61%, while its net loss increased to 73 cents a share from 44 cents a share a year earlier.

Part of the popularity of Eventbrite’s offering may come from the successful tech IPOs in the last 12 months, including streaming-TV device maker Roku, online-storage provider Dropbox, wireless-speaker manufacturer Sonos, as well as the direct listing of streaming-music giant Spotify. For the remainder of the year, however, there are few well-known tech startups that have signaled plans to go public in coming months.

After Eventbrite, online-survey software company SurveyMonkey is the best-known tech-IPO candidate.

This has been the strongest year for IPOs in several years since 2014 and one of the busiest periods in 24 years. According to Dealogic, 120 companies have staged IPOs in the first half of 2018, raising an aggregate of $35 billion.

Tech company offerings have been among the most successful IPOs.