Updated Mar 21, 2024 - Business

Reddit shares soar 48% in NYSE debut

Animated illustration of the Reddit logo shooting lasers with dollar signs in them out of its eyes.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Reddit shares soared in the company's stock market debut on Thursday, opening at $47 per share a day after its IPO raised $748 million.

Why it matters: The listing is the first social media IPO in nearly five years, and it's a high-profile offering whose trading performance could set the tone for future tech and media deals.

Zoom in: Reddit priced its IPO at $34 per share on Wednesday, hitting the top end of its expected range, in a sign of high demand for the offering.

  • The stock opened 38% higher on Thursday at $47 per share, and continued to soar as much as 60% before settling back down toward its opening price.
  • It closed at $50.31 per share, a 48% spike on its first day.

Catch up quick: Reddit was founded in 2005 and the San Francisco company flirted with an IPO for years, starting in late 2021. Stock market fluctuations forced the company to tap the breaks until early this year.

  • The IPO offered shares to Reddit super users, with the company giving them until March 5 to register to participate in the offering. Reddit CFO Drew Vollero told Axios' Dan Primack that "tens of thousands" of users bought IPO shares.
  • Reddit is home to WallStreetBets, a forum for individual investors and day traders who sparked the meme stock craze in 2021.
  • Reddit CEO Steve Huffman spoke to CNBC a few hours before the stock began trading on Thursday, and was asked about some of the negative messages posted on WallStreetBets about the company's stock.
  • "Reddit is a fun and special but sometimes crazy place. And so I wouldn't expect anything less," he said.

By the numbers:

  • The company sold 15.3 million Class A shares. Priced at $34 per share, Reddit raised $520 million in the IPO.
  • As part of the deal, shareholders in the company sold 6.7 million shares, raising $228 million, bringing the total amount raised to $748 million.
  • Reddit's bankers on the deal have the option of purchasing another 3.3 million shares as part of the offering, the so-called greenshoe.
  • The company's market value is now around $8 billion after its first day of trading.

What's next: For a company that just started to earn a profit late last year, Reddit now has an IPO cash pile to distribute. The company has said it plans to invest in the business and Huffman said on CNBC that Reddit could use the proceeds to pursue M&A opportunities.

What we're watching: A huge percentage gain with any IPO on Day One prompts the question of whether bankers should have priced the deal higher.

  • But whether Reddit shares can continue their upward momentum is a question for the company, its bankers, and surely the WallStreetBets community.

Go deeper:

Reddit CFO says "tens of thousands" of users bought IPO shares

Reddit vs. Truth Social: A tale of two social media listings

Reddit's IPO drops it into growing battle between AI companies and users

FTC launches inquiry into Reddit's AI deals, ahead of IPO

Editor's note: The story was updated with Reddit's closing price and stock performance.

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