Coupa Software shares soar 85 percent in market debut

October 6, 2016 11:01 AM EDT

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By Richa Naidu and Liana B. Baker

(Reuters) - Shares of Coupa Software Inc, a U.S. maker of cloud-based software that helps companies manage spending, surged 85 percent in their debut on Thursday, as investors showed renewed appetite for IPOs by venture-backed tech companies.

Coupa's shares closed trading at $33.28 on the Nasdaq, valuing the company at $1.6 billion.

The offering of 7.4 million shares was priced at the top end of the expected range of $16-$18, raising about $133 million for the San Mateo, California-based company.

The software company's customers include office supply retailer Staples Inc and credit card issuer Capital One Financial Corp. Still, Coupa's net loss widened in fiscal 2016, which ended in January.

Its IPO came less than a week after shares of data storage provider Nutanix Inc, which also has yet to make a profit, soared 130 percent in their debut.

Coupa Chief Executive Officer Rob Bernshteyn said in an interview that now the company will look to expand "assertively" into Asia, Canada, Latin America and Australia.

This year has been quiet for IPOs, with markets volatile due to uncertainty over global economic growth, worries about U.S. interest rates and Britain's referendum on its membership in the European Union.

Interest in the IPO showed public investors growing more willing to bet on companies with potential.

"Public investors are very thirsty for a return and if they think they can get it on IPOs you'll see demand surge for IPOs," said Glenn Solomon, managing partner at GGV Capital.

The U.S. technology IPO market has raised just over $2.3 billion so far this year, about half the $4.56 billion raised a year ago.

A flood of private funding has helped many Silicon Valley startups achieve $1 billion-plus valuations in the past few years. Profitability has not been a requirement for joining the so-called "unicorn" club.

Companies that go public have fared well.

Shares of software maker Twilio Inc, which also is not profitable, are trading nearly four times above their June IPO price.

Bernshteyn declined to comment on when Coupa expects to become profitable. The company said its net and comprehensive loss widened to $46.16 million in fiscal year 2016 from $27.3 million a year earlier, although annual revenue jumped 65 percent to $83.68 million in the year ended January.

Morgan Stanley & Co LLC, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Barclays Capital Inc and RBC Capital Markets LLC were among the IPO underwriters.

(Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bengaluru and Liana B. Baker in New York. Additional reporting by Lauren Hirsch, Heather Somerville and Sruthi Shankar; Editing by Ted Kerr and David Gregorio)



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