Blockbuster IPO for Coupons.com pays off for Passport Ventures

(Reuters) – Shares of digital coupon company Coupons.com Inc (COUP.N) nearly doubled in their trading debut, valuing the company at over $2.2 billion and underscoring the popularity of technology IPOs.

The 16-year-old company raised $168 million from its initial public offering after receiving strong investor interest for its extensive digital promotion platform.

Coupons.com is majority owned by Passport Ventures, whose sole managing member is John H. Burbank III and which will own close to 20 percent of the company following the offering, according to the company’s prospectus. Other significant shareholders include asset manager T. Rowe Price Group Inc (TROW.O) and CEO Boal, each with a 10 percent stake.

Coupons prospectusCoupons.com is the third technology company to go public this year, after the successful debuts of Care.com Inc (CRCM.N) and Varonis Inc VRNM.O.

Shares of RetailMeNot Inc (SALE.O), a Texas-based online coupon company, have more than doubled in value since their debut in July.

Coupons.com priced 10.5 million shares at $16 each on Thursday, above the company’s planned $12-$14 price range.

The shares were up 78 percent at $28.50 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday. They rose to a high of $31.18 in early trading. About 2.5 million shares changed hands by 10:52 ET, making them the highest traded on the exchange.

Founded in 1998 by Chief Executive Steven Boal, Coupons.com’s network connects brands and retailers with consumers who are increasingly using digital coupons over traditional newspaper clippings.

Nearly 100 million people in the United States used digital coupons in 2013, according to estimates from eMarketer cited in the company’s IPO filing.

Coupons.com’s revenue jumped almost 50 percent to about $168 million in 2013, driven by over 1.3 billion transactions in which consumers selected a digital coupon or redeemed a coupon code offered on its platform.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company also earns revenue from advertising placements, which it sells to customers as part of insertion orders for coupons.

Customers include leading retailers and over 700 consumer goods companies, such as Supervalu Inc (SVU.N), Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N), Walgreen Co (WAG.N) and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc (DPS.N).

Founded at the peak of the dot-com boom, Coupons.com initially struggled, spending three years to develop a viable technology and then some more to convince manufacturers to shift their promotion budgets to digital tools.

Consumers made an average of 17 million monthly unique visits to the company’s flagship site, www.coupons.com, in 2013, according the IPO filing.

(Reporting by Aman Shah and Anil D’Silva in Bangalore in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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