Square made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange this morning with a little pop. Trading as $SQ, the payments company opened at $11.20 per share and continued climbing. Last night the company priced its IPO at $9, an offering that raised $243 million and valued the company at around $2.9 billion.
It’s a positive sign for Square after a few blows in the lead-up to today. Last year, the company raised a round at a $6 billion valuation. But for its IPO, it first projected a range of $11 to 13 per share, which would only value the company at a little more than $4 billion. The $9 per share IPO was a further conservative turn.
Square helped put the whole business of mobile payments on the map with its charismatic CEO Jack Dorsey (who’s dividing his time between Square and his new-ish role as CEO of Twitter), while products like its smartphone dongle and stand can feel ubiquitous at times. However, the company’s consumer-facing services don’t seem to have taken off, and it’s facing increasing competition from other point-of-sale services.
Square is also coming into the public markets at a time when tech IPOs have been generally underwhelming. In addition, payment companies like First Data have stumbled in their debuts, while established names like PayPal have been stagnant.
Square itself is not profitable, with its filings showing widening losses — most recently a net loss of a net loss of $54 million on revenue of $332 million in the third quarter of this year.
As of 11:01am Eastern, the stock was trading at $13.60 per share, up 51 percent from its IPO price. Even without the pop, Dorsey probably got points with his mom Marcia Dorsey — she rang the opening bell. She was joined by Cheri Mims, owner of Lilybelle (one of the first businesses to accept payments via Square), and Square’s College Code Camp participants Terri Burns and Jackie Luo.