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(Photo via Tiffany Lieu/Avalara)

Follow-up: Orange crush: Avalara’s colorful culture helps sales tax company go public after 14 years

Original story: Shares of Avalara spiked 50 percent from its initial public offering price on Friday as the Seattle-based company rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

Avalara on Thursday priced its initial public offering at $24 per share, above the company’s expected range, reeling in $180 million. It is trading on the NYSE under the symbol AVLR.

Shares were trading around $37 per share on Friday morning, and by the end of the day Avalara stock sat at just under $45, up 87 percent from its IPO price.

Avalara, which sells sales tax automation software to more than 20,000 customers, initially looked to raise $150 million when it first announced its IPO intentions last month. It upped the expected stock price twice, most recently at $21 to $23 this week.

The final share price and Friday’s response on Wall Street indicates strong public market interest in the sales tax automation company, which sold 7.5 million shares of its common stock. Underwriters also have the option to purchase up to 1.1 million additional shares.

Avalara is one of nine SaaS businesses to go public this year; the companies produced returns of more than 40 percent on the first day for investors who received shares on the offerings, according to institutional research provider and IPO expert Renaissance Capital.

“Those who think the IPO market is dead are mistaken,” said Kathleen Smith, a principal at Renaissance Capital.

Avalara is the third Seattle-area company to go public in the past three months; Smartsheet and DocuSign also had strong IPO debuts in April and both continue to perform well on the public markets.

Stay tuned for more coverage of Avalara’s IPO this morning.

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