Twilio Goes Public, Celebrates Developers
Twilio sets IPO pricing, rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, and kicks off its IPO with a live coding event.
As widely anticipated, Twilio went public this morning at an opening bell share price of $15, slightly above the $12 to $14 per-share price Twilio noted in last month's filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. At the time of this writing, the "TWLO" shares are now trading on the New York Stock Exchange at $23.
This pricing gives Twilio a market value of $1.23 billion, up from the roughly $1 billion valuation investors gave it during its last private round of financing in 2015, USA Today's Jon Swartz reported. Further, Forbes contributor Jean Baptiste Su, Principal Analyst at Atherton Research and veteran technology journalist, reported this morning that Twilio will raise $150 million from its IPO, which is 50% more than initial expectations. Still, in the same report, Su indicated Twilio's history of weak financials, with a reported net loss of $35.5 million on $167 million in revenue for 2015 and a $27 million net loss on $89 million in revenue for 2014.
Interestingly, Su added, 17% of Twilio's total revenue for 2015 came from WhatsApp, which uses the Twilio platform to verify users but is not obligated to give notice should it decide to stop using Twilio services. That's a "red flag for some investors."
Even so, Twilio has clearly been one busy company, and the buzz around its IPO is hard to ignore. We've covered Twilio regularly here on No Jitter, from advances made last year to its developer platform for communications, to its March announcement at Enterprise Connect that it would enable private connections to its cloud services, and most recently, its newly announced APIs for Internet of Things and notification orchestration.
No Jitter's own Beth Schultz covered Twilio's filing with the U.S. SEC for an initial public offering, which was quietly announced near the conclusion of the company's Signal conference for developers that took place at the end of May. Since then, financial analysts across the country have been hailing Twilio's IPO as the hottest tech IPO of the year, for what that's worth.
As Schultz noted in her report on the SEC filing, the company "is everybody's darling in the cloud-based, software-centric world of today ..., widely credited for kick-starting the API movement in communications."
The tech industry has been in a drought of IPO activity, with no tech companies going public in the first quarter of 2016, and only one notable IPO in the second quarter from cybersecurity firm SecureWorks, Wall Street Daily chief technology analyst Louis Basenese reported.
"Even if Twilio pops on its first day of trading and remains in positive territory, few expect it to be a catalyst for a rush of tech IPOs in what has been the slowest year for U.S.-listed tech IPOs -- and IPOs in general -- since 2009, according to data from Dealogic," wrote Corrie Driebusch, reporter for The Wall Street Journal.
The state of tech IPOs aside, today is about Twilio, and Twilio wouldn't be Twilio without a nod to the developers that fuel its business. At this morning's opening bell, Twilio took itself public in its own unique style, kicking off a live, daylong coding event on the NYSE trading floor. This "NYSE Code Jam" is taking place throughout the day, as you see in this Twitch broadcast.Twilio developers and their friends aim to develop as many apps as possible up until the closing bell, Twilio said.
I'll be watching how Twilio performs in its first days of public trading, and checking in with NYSE Code Jam participants to see how the day unfolds. More to come!