Square priced its initial public offering at $9 a share, valuing the company at $2.66 billion, but shares opened for trading at $11.20, good for a 25% gain, as the Jack Dorsey-led company seeks to upend how small businesses interact with their customers and conduct business. The San Francisco-based company had been expected to price its initial public offering between $11 and $13 a share, which would've valued the company at roughly $4 billion at the mid-point of the range.
The company and some of its existing shareholders raised $243 million, ultimately selling 27 million shares in the offering.
Square, which said it has more than 2 million businesses using its payments processing hardware and software, garners 95% of its revenue from processing payments, taking a 2.75% fee for handling credit card payments. Its fledgling Square Capital business, which lends money to small businesses, accounts for the majority of the rest of its revenue.
In the first nine months of 2015, Square generated $892.8 million in revenue but lost $131.5 million in net income. Some of that financial information comes from a highly publicized deal with Starbucks(SBUX) - Get Report , commissioned in 2012, that ultimately did not bear fruit for either company.
Dorsey was on hand to witness the start of trading however preferred to stay out of the sight of live video cameras and television. Assigned with the task of ringing the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange was his mother, Marcia, while his father Tim watched from the side. Outside the NYSE were featured vendors of Square who had set up booths and trucks, allowing customers to taste and or purchase their products.
TheStreet got a first hand look at the activity both in and out of the exchange.
The facade carried the names of hundreds of brands who partner with Square for their merchant services.
Featured Square seller and florist, Lilybelle, based in San Francisco, served as the site of the opening bell ringing. Square point of sale devices could be seen amongst various vendors outside the NYSE.
Dorsey preferred to stay out of the limelight and away from live television, choosing to capture his company's offering via streaming app Periscope, owned by Twitter(TWTR) - Get Report , the other company the enigmatic CEO leads.
Dorsey's mother, Marcia, tearfully and happily embraced her son she rang the opening bell for the start of the trading day.
Traders huddled around Dorsey during the bid and ask phase, before the stock officially began trading.
Here, the first Square trade began at 10:08am EST, trading up nearly 25% at $11.20.