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Fiverr shares jump 24% above IPO price, open at $26.00 each

Fiverr’s (FVRR) stock rose above its initial public offering price after opening for trading Thursday, as investors scooped up shares of the latest gig-economy tech firm to hit the public markets.

Shares opened at $26.00 each on the New York Stock Exchange, or 23.8% above pricing at the initial public offering. By the end of trading Thursday, shares were higher by 89.31% to $39.76 each.

On Wednesday, the company raised $111 million in an offering of 5.3 million shares at $21.00 apiece. This was above Fiverr’s originally targeted range of between $18 and $20 per share. The IPO pricing gave the company a valuation of about $650 million, based on shares outstanding as documented in Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

The Tel Aviv, Israel-based company serves as an online marketplace connecting businesses with freelances for primarily software services ranging from website design to financial modeling.

[Read more: Why freelancing on Fiverr may beat driving for Uber, expert says]

As with many of its newly public predecessors this year, Fiverr hit the public markets with red ink on its financials. Fiverr posted a net loss of $8.3 million in the three months ending March 31. However, this was narrower than the $16.3 million loss it posted the year prior.

Total sales for its fiscal first quarter of 2019 were $23.8 million, up 42% over last year. For the full-year 2018, revenue was $75.5 million, up 45% from 2017.

Fiverr follows a deluge of software companies entering the public markets this year – which have received mixed receptions from investors. Video conferencing software company Zoom (ZM) has seen shares rise about 36% since its IPO. Shares of cyber tech firm CrowdStrike jumped 71% in their first day of trading Wednesday.

However, other gig economy software platforms including Uber (UBER) and Lyft (LYFT) have received icier welcomes from Wall Street. Shares of Uber fell more than 6% below its IPO pricing as of market close Wednesday, while shares of Lyft dropped nearly 19%, as investors lamented the companies’ unprofitability and uncertain long-term growth potentials.

“Public markets haven’t (as yet) rolled out the red carpet for cash-burning gig economy start-ups, such as Upwork, Uber, and Lyft,” Rohit Kulkarni, an analyst with MKM Partners, wrote in a note. “We are believers in the long-term potential of these marketplaces, but risks such as unclear pathway to profitability and the debate around gig economy workers labeled as 1099-contractors would likely weigh on near-term post-IPO performance.”

Fiverr competes with firms including UpWork (UPWK), another freelancer hiring platform that went public last October.

Shares of UpWork soared 50% higher in their first day of trading, but have since trimmed gains. After rising to as high as about $23 each in late February, the stock closed below its IPO pricing of $15 per share as of market close Wednesday.

Updates with closing share prices after market close Thursday.

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Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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