Unity Software’s shares soar in NYSE debut

Shares of Sequoia-backed startup Unity Software jumped 44.2 percent in their debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, signaling sustained demand for new stocks.

The company’s stock opened at $75 per share, giving the firm a market value of $19.75 billion.

The Silicon Valley startup on Thursday raised $1.3 billion in its IPO, after pricing 25 million shares at $52 apiece, much above its upwardly revised price range of $44 to $48 per share.

It is the second $1 billion-plus US software IPO this week to price above the targeted range after data warehouse company Snowflake raised more than $3 billion in the largest US listing so far this year.

Unity’s software platform is widely used by game developers, artists, architects and filmmakers to create, run and monetize interactive 3D content.

“The company’s [IPO] timing is good. Not only have US market indexes returned to records, but one of Unity’s top competitors, Epic Games, is also challenging Apple in court,” said Michael Underhill, chief investment officer for Capital Innovations, which invests in IPOs.

Last year, more than half of the top 1,000 games in Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store were built using Unity’s software platform, Underhill added.

For Unity’s IPO, the lead underwriting banks, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, used an online system to take indications of interest from investors, with the aim of getting a more accurate gauge of demand.

Orders for an IPO are typically made over the phone.

Investment firm Sequoia Capital is Unity’s largest shareholder with a 24.1 percent stake, while private equity company Silver Lake owns 18.2 percent, according to a filing.

Filed under