While there may have been some confusion whether it was Swedish or Swiss, there was nothing confusing about the precise price where Spotify broke for trading: at precisely 12:43pm the first trade crossed at $165.90.
As such, the world's most popular music streaming service outdid analysts' expectations during its Directly Listed public offering - the biggest tech IPO to come along since Snapchat's debut last year - and 25% higher than the reference price of $132/share set by the NYSE, valuing the streaming music site’s equity at $29.5BN.
According to the FT, more than $1 billion notional traded in the opening auction, one of the biggest opening auctions that the NYSE has seen in recent years, despite reports that the listing was expected to see thin volume on the supply side.
The streaming company arrived on the public markets through a direct listing, as opposed to the traditional initial public offering process that is used by most companies. That decision savied Spotify’s millions in underwriting fees, but the group warned in its prospectus that trading may be more volatile than it otherwise would have been had it gone through the usual IPO process.
So far, however, it has been smooth sailing for the newly public company's stock.
Citadel Securities, the designated market maker, consulted with Morgan Stanley in determining the first trade price based on market supply and demand.
As the FT adds, Spotify's IPO comes at a dramatic moment for technology shares in general:
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has dropped 10 per cent from the all-time high it set on March 13. NYSE’s Fang+ index, which posted a dazzling performance last year, has pulled back 15.4 per cent from its peak.
Spotify has managed to lure investors with its large userbase — sporting 157m active monthly users as of March 21. It generated €4.09bn in revenue last year, up from €2.95bn in 2016. Last month, Spotify said it expects to narrow its operating loss to €230m - €330m in 2018, from €378m last year.
In other words, a valuation of $30 billion on what is nothing but promises of a profit at some point in the future. Just like Tesla and Netflix.
To all those who sold, congratulations; meanwhile, to those who bought as the insiders were selling: good luck.