Online e-commerce site LightInTheBox became the first Chinese company to hold its IPO in the U.S. this year. Trading under the ticker LITB, shares rose 22.2% to $11.61 during the stock’s first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, raising a total of $79 million. LightInTheBox’s strong debut also boosted shares of other Chinese tech stocks, including fellow online retailer Vipshop, which rose almost 3% to $29.46. Shares of search giant Baidu climbed 3.9% to $4.15, while travel agency Ctrip.com International jumped 6.3% to $32.91.
Based in Beijing and founded in 2007 by a team including former Google China CSO Alan Guo, LightInTheBox is a global sourcing platform that sells goods from Chinese suppliers to retailers.
The company says it has 2.5 million users and made $200 million in net revenues in 2012. Its site is available in 17 languages and covers more than 80% of global Internet users. In 2012, LightInTheBox ranked number one in terms of revenue generated from customers outside of China among all China-based retails sites that source products from third-party manufacturers. Its investors have included Zhenfund, GSR Ventures, Ceyuan Ventures and TrustBridge Partners.
LightInTheBox’s IPO came 15 months after Vipshop’s listing in March 2012. Vipshop has done well since its IPO, with its stock price almost quadrupling from its debut of $6.50. LightInTheBox aimed to raise up to $100 million in its IPO and set its opening price at $9.50 per share. Credit Suisse and Stifel acted as joint bookrunners and Pacific Crest Securities, Oppenheimer & Co. and China Renaissance Securities were co-managers of the offering.
Investors and analysts are keeping an eye on LightInTheBox’s performance on the stock market after a tough year for Chinese IPOs due to concerns over accounting and governance practices, stymied economic growth in China and concerns that Chinese companies are overvalued. Only two Chinese tech companies had IPOs last year: Vipshop and social gaming platform YY.