owner’s shares rise about 20 percent in debut-Reuters

(Reuters) – Shares of TrueCar Inc, owner of car comparison website, rose about 20 percent in their market debut, valuing the company at about $764 million.

The company, which sold all the 7.78 million shares, raised about $70 million after its initial public offering was priced at $9 per share, well below the expected range of $12-$14.

TrueCar’s shares opened at $9.70 and touched a high of $10.76 on the Nasdaq on Friday.

The company’s website allows visitors to view the average selling price of a new car, its sticker price, the site’s estimate of a good price and the price dealers in its network are offering.

The website operates through a network of 7,000 car dealers and generates revenue from advertising and dealer subscriptions.

TrueCar’s competitors include online automotive sites such as, eBay Motors,,, and, as well as sites operated by General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

TrueCar’s net loss attributable to its shareholders rose about 10 percent to $9.92 million for the three months ended March. Revenue rose about 75 percent to $43.9 million.

Santa Monica, California-based TrueCar, which has received a $30 million investment from Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital, is headed by Scott Painter, an early adviser to Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

TrueCar’s other investors include venture capital firm Upfront Ventures, billionaire Jeff Skoll’s Capricorn Investment Group and insurer United Services Automobile Association.

United Services Automobile Association is TrueCar’s largest shareholder, with about 23 percent stake after the IPO.

TrueCar expects to use the net proceeds from the IPO for investments and general corporate purposes.

Goldman Sachs & Co, JPMorgan and RBC Capital Markets were the lead underwriters for the IPO.

TrueCar’s shares were up nearly 17 percent at $10.53 in midday trading.

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