In Seattle's first IPO of the year, Redfin stock quickly takes off

In Seattle's first IPO of the year, Redfin stock quickly takes off

In Seattle's first IPO of the year, Redfin stock quickly takes off

It was a great day for Redfin, the Seattle-based real estate site which finally went public after 13 years as a startup. The real-estate company, which mixes online technology with traditional agents, had priced its IPO above the previously expected range of $12 to $14.

Gross proceeds from the offering totaled $138.45 million at a market cap of around $1.2 billion. Goldman Sachs and Allen & Company were the lead book-running managers for the IPO. When shares started trading on the open market this morning under the ticker symbol RDFN they opened at $19.56.

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For now, Redfin is giving hope to investment banks like Goldman - which served as lead underwriter on the Redfin offering - that more tech companies could courageous the public markets to raise money.

Revenue in 2016 jumped 43 percent to $267.2 million from $187.3 million a year earlier. The company said its cash flow last quarter was a negative $22 million and that it had $38 million in cash on hand as of March 31.

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Redfin makes money by taking a cut of the home sales generated by its site. "They're working for a brand that doesn't feel like a Radio Shack of real estate but feels like the Apple of real estate".

Redfin has its feet in two main markets: It has agents selling homes, putting it in competition with traditional brokerages like Windermere and John L. Scott Real Estate. It's also experimenting with a new service called Redfin Now, in which Redfin buys homes directly from sellers and resells them to buyers. It attracted 20.2 million unique users in June, the third most in the country and up 46 percent from a year ago, according to comScore. Madrona Ventures owned 11.4 percent, Tiger Global owned 10.5 percent and Draper Fisher Jurvetson owned 10.2 percent.

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