Yext finishes the day up 21% as IPO window remains wide open

Yext, the company that helps businesses power their location data, went public on the New York Stock Exchange today. After pricing shares above the expected range at $11, the price rose 21 percent to $13.29 by the end of the first day of trading.

With a client list that includes Best Buy, McDonald’s and Marriott, Yext is responsible for the location results that appear on search engines, maps and social media. The company recognized early on that consumers would prefer to find nearby locations without visiting brand websites.

In an interview with TechCrunch, CEO Howard Lerman emphasized that Yext plans to evolve beyond location data. They want Yext to be a “knowledge engine,” where they will make it easier to help customers find the best doctor, their ideal automobile or an event to attend.

The IPO raised $115.5 million for the company, and Lerman says they plan to use the capital to further invest in sales and marketing. A large part of their business is convincing large enterprises that Yext provides enough value-add to pay for their services.

Yext brought in $88.6 million in revenue in the nine months ending in October of last year, with losses of $28.6 million for the same time frame. Revenue is up from the $64 million they saw in the same period the year before and losses narrowed to $18.2 million.

Yext previously raised more than $117 million in venture funding at more than a $500 million valuation. The stock market is valuing the company above $1 billion, a favorable sign at a time when there are “down-round IPOs.”

While Yext has focused its efforts on the U.S. markets, Lerman said that they eventually plan to expand more internationally. The IPO “gives us huge awareness everywhere,” he said. 

Sutter Hill Ventures owned 23.6 percent of Yext leading into the IPO. Institutional Venture Partners, Marker Financial Advisors and Insight Venture Partners also had large stakes.

Founded in 2006, New York-based Yext had been planning its IPO for more than two years, Lerman tells TechCrunch. They wanted to “really do this right” and, in addition to the cumbersome process of auditing financials, they had to make sure it was the right time to enter the public markets.

Yext has gone public at a time when the “window” for tech IPOs has re-opened. Snapchat parent Snap ended the hiatus last month; since then MuleSoft, Alteryx and Okta have done IPOs.

Yext isn’t the only venture-backed company to go public this week. Brazilian-based Netshoes also listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The sporting goods and fashion e-tailer is a leader in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. The company previously caught the attention of prominent U.S. investors, including ICONIQ Capital and Tiber Global Management.

Netshoes has “the potential to become an Amazon of Brazil,” CEO Marcio Kumrian, tells TechCrunch, although they are focused on higher-margin categories. After pricing at $18 on Tuesday evening, the company was trading down 10 percent to $14.50 by the end of Thursday.

Other IPOs on the horizon include Cloudera and ForeScout.