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nLight’s lasers are used in a variety of industries (Photo via nLight S-1)

nLight priced its initial public offering above the expected range at $16 per share on Thursday night as the Vancouver, Wash.-based laser-maker raised $96 million. It is expected to start trading Thursday morning on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “LASR.” Update: Shares were up nearly 50 percent on Thursday.

The company, which makes lasers used in aerospace, defense and manufacturing, sold six million shares of common stock. Its underwriters have the option to purchase an additional 900,000 shares.

nLight was expected to price its stock at $13 to $15 per share, but it came at above that range signaling strong interest in a company that’s hard to bundle into other tech categories.

Founded in 2000, nLight employs more than 1,000 people worldwide. It posted revenue of $138.6 million in 2017, turning a profit of $1.8 million. That compared to revenue of $101.3 million and a net loss of $14.2 million in 2016.

nLight boasts more than 300 customers, including Samsung, Raytheon and BAE, with 66 percent of its business is generated outside of the U.S.

Menlo Ventures holds a 21.5 percent stake in nLight, followed by Oak Investment Partners with a 20 percent stake and Mohr Davidow which holds 18 percent. CEO Scott Keeney held a four percent stake before the offering, with that share dropping to 3.4 percent after the initial stock sale.

nLight first filed for its IPO on March 30. It’s the latest company with Washington state roots to file to go public this month, joining electronic signature powerhouse DocuSign and enterprise software maker Smartsheet — both of those companies are expected to start trading Friday.

While the Seattle area has seen a number of public offerings and IPO filings in recent years, this would mark the first public offering by a company from the Portland metro area in more than a decade, according to The Oregonian.

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