Cloudflare Jumps 19% in Market Debut

Cloudflare
Inc.


NET 20.00%

’s shares climbed 19% in its first day of trading Friday, following a streak of technology upstarts making initial public offerings to meet investors’ growing appetite for enterprise information-technology companies.

The stock of the provider of cloud-based networking and cybersecurity services opened at $18 on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NET after being priced at $15 the day before. The shares closed Friday at $17.90 a share. On Thursday, Cloudflare said it sold 35 million of Class A shares to the public at the $15 price, raising around $525 million, or about $603.8 million if underwriters exercise their option to buy an additional 5.25 million shares. According to FactSet, the company’s market valuation is roughly $1.5 billion. The San Francisco company said it had revenue of $192.7 million in 2018, and $134.9 million in 2017. Like many of its competitors, it has also entered the public sphere with some losses, part of a growing trend by tech companies to increase spending and marketing in order to fuel growth and fend off competition. Cloudflare’s net losses were $87.2 million in 2018 and $10.7 million in 2017.

This year has seen a slew of IPOs in the information-technology space, fueled by more corporate spending on cloud computing and strong stock-market debuts. For instance, videoconferencing company Zoom Video Communications Inc.’s shares soared 81% above its IPO price on its first trading day in April. Shares of

Health Catalyst
Inc.,

which develops software using artificial intelligence to analyze data for hospitals and health-care companies, also traded well above its projected price in its first day of trading in July. Yet not every technology company has fared so well in their debuts.

SmileDirectClub
Inc.

’s shares tumbled 28% on its first day of trading Thursday, and the highly anticipated public market debuts of

Uber Technologies
Inc.

and

Lyft
Inc.

had lackluster showings. We Co., parent of co-working-space company WeWork, is expected to make its trading debut the week of Sept. 23. The company is weighing a projected valuation that could slip below $20 billion, far lower than the $47 billion set in a funding round earlier this year.

From Uber to Lyft to Airbnb, it’s the year of the tech initial public offering. Jonathan DeYoe, a Bay Area financial adviser to some of the new IPO millionaires, explains how many of his clients acquired so much stock and what he suggests they do with their new riches. Illustration: Timothy Wong for The Wall Street Journal.

Write to Kimberly Chin at kimberly.chin@wsj.com

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