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Reddit Shares Shoot Higher In First-Day Trading

Shares of Reddit closed up 48% in their New York Stock Exchange debut on Thursday, a day after the company raised $519 million in an IPO that priced at the top of the projected range.

The IPO is a long time coming for San Francisco-based Reddit. The company, known for its lively online communities and colorful discussion threads, was co-founded by CEO Steve Huffman and venture investor Alexis Ohanian more than 18 years ago.

Reddit’s initial public offering is being closely watched for a number of reasons. Its IPO is the first from a social media company since Pinterest’s debut in 2019. Startup investors and entrepreneurs are also hoping the IPO, which follows a prolonged drought for new tech offerings, could help kickstart the IPO market.

Certainly this has been an encouraging week for those hoping to pick up the IPO pace. A day before Reddit’s debut, Astera Labs, a developer of data center connectivity technology with use cases in generative AI, closed up more than 72% in first-day trading after pricing shares above the projected range.

Reddit, which is trading on NYSE under the ticker symbol RDDT, said it had an initial valuation of $6.4 billion after pricing shares at $34 each late Wednesday. Its valuation at the end of its first day of trading is around $7 billion.

Notably, in an unusual move, the company also offered 74,000 of its active moderators and users the opportunity to purchase stock at that price point, in order to give them access to some upside should the stock increase over time. Company CFO Drew Vollero told Axios that “tens of thousands” of Reddit users, known as Redditors, bought into the IPO.

“We set aside 8% of the shares so that our moderators and passionate users can be owners … It’s been good to have some pop for them on Day 1 because that’s different from what’s happened with some other companies,” he said.

Media company Advance Publications, owner of magazine publisher Condé Nast among other properties, was the largest shareholder in Reddit ahead of its IPO, with a 30.1% ownership of the company, according to securities filings. Several other shareholders, including Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent, Fidelity and entrepreneur and investor Sam Altman, (now CEO of OpenAI) also held large stakes.

Gené Teare contributed to this article.


Illustration: Dom Guzman

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