Shares of cloud-data startup Snowflake spiked as much as 165%, to $318.37 per share, on its first day of public-market trading. Trading in the stock was halted shortly after opening due to volatility.
The company debuted on the New York Stock Exchange after raising $3.4 billion in its Wednesday initial public offering. The haul cemented Snowflake as the largest software IPO ever and the biggest share sale of 2020.
The firm sold 28 million shares at $120 each, pricing the stock above its previous range amid strong investor demand. Snowflake’s trading debut garnered Wall Street enthusiasm earlier in the month after legendary investor Warren Buffett pledged to invest more than $550 million in the company after its IPO.
Snowflake trades under the ticker SNOW. Shares traded roughly 130% higher, at $283.19, as of 12:47 p.m. ET Wednesday.
Founded in 2012, Snowflake became a major player in cloud data warehousing which became a hot market with the rapid growth of the cloud, the hot enterprise trend in which businesses set up networks on web-based platforms.
Snowflake reported that its revenue jumped from $97 million in 2019 to $264.7 million in 2020. But its losses ballooned from $178 million to $348.5 million in the same period.
The company raised $479 million in February at a $12.4 billion valuation. In total, Snowflake has raised $1.4 billion from investors including Sequoia and ICONIQ Capital. The company recently also got a boost from new investments from Warren Buffett and Salesforce.
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Snowflake said it has about 3,100 customers, including 56 clients that contributed about $1 million in a 12-month period.
Experts said the pandemic which led to stronger need for cloud computing as a result of the pivot to remote work boosted demand for Snowflake’s platform. But they also point to challenges ahead as the company faces rising competition from other players, including the giants of the cloud, led by Amazon and Microsoft.
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