Fiverr IPO Soars as Trading Begins

Shares of the Israeli online freelancer platform jumped on the company's first day of trading.
Fiverr IPO Soars as Trading Begins

Israeli online freelancer platform Fiverr began trading on Wall Street on Thursday at a company value of $650 million.

After opening for trading Thursday, Fiverr’s stock rose above its IPO price. Shares opened at $26.00 each on the New York Stock Exchange, or 23.8% above pricing at the initial public offering.

On Wednesday, the company raised $111 million in an offering of 5.3 million shares at $21.00 apiece, slightly higher than the $18-20 per share it spoke of last week (at a value of $560-620 million), most likely after encouraging indications about investor sentiment.

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In the past, there were reports that the IPO would be held at a company value of more than $800 million, although there was never any official confirmation from Fiverr about this.

After the IPO, there will be 31 million shares with the public holding 17% of the company (before the underwriters exercise their options). Prior to Thursday’s IPO, Fiverr had raised $170 million in various financing rounds.

“Fiverr’s mission is to change how the world works together,” according to a company press release issued on Thursday.

“The Fiverr platform connects businesses with freelancers offering digital services in more than 200 categories, across eight verticals, including graphic design, digital marketing, programming, video, and animation,” according to the press release. “Since inception, the platform has facilitated over 50 million transactions. Fiverr’s global community of freelancers spans more than 160 countries.”

At first, all services via Fiverr were offered for $5. Later, freelancers were allowed to offer services at higher prices, currently up to thousands of dollars. Fiverr receives a fee for each deal, from both the service providers and service buyers.

Fiverr services that connect buyers and sellers are offered in English, Spanish, French, Dutch, and Portuguese. The global company has offices in Tel Aviv, New York, Chicago, Miami, and San Francisco.

Millions of services, including those that in graphic design, marketing and communications, writing, translation, copywriting, and software development, are listed on Fiverr. No single category contributes more than 15% of Fiverr’s revenue.

Fiverr was founded in 2010, by CEO Micha Kaufman and Shai Wininger (who has since left to set up digital insurance startup Lemonade). Until recently, Wininger still sat on Fiverr’s board of directors and he was in New York Thursday for the IPO.

After six years in business, “we are running at a million transactions per month,” Kaufman explained in a detailed (January 2016) presentation to entrepreneurs in Tel Aviv. “So it’s a business that is growing triple digits in percentages year over year; so it’s a superfast growing business.”

Fiverr is Kaufman’s fifth internet business venture, including those focused on security software, think tank endeavors, and technology. Years ago, he predicted that going forward economists would discuss Fiverr as going “from a $5 platform to a multi-dollar-billion business biting the tails of the largest” competitors.

Last week, Fiverr published the list of its current shareholders. The founders Kaufman and Wininger hold 7.7% and 5.7% ($50 and $37 million) respectively. Bessemer Venture Partners holds 12.4% ($80 million) and Accel holds 10% ($65 million), Square Peg 9.1% ($61 million), and Qumra 5.8% ($38 million). Angel investor Jonathan Kolber holds 13.2% ($86 million) and Guy Gimzo 4.3% ($28 million).

According to the prospectus, Fiverr’s revenue is growing at a rate of more than 40% annually, and revenue in the first quarter of 2019 was $24 million, up 42% from the corresponding quarter of 2018. Revenue in 2018 was $75.5 million, up 45% from 2017.

The company is not yet profitable and lost $36 million in 2018. In the first quarter of 2019, Fiverr lost $5.4 million.

The closing of the offering is expected to occur on June 17, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Kaufman is expected to become Fiverr’s chairman after the IPO, subject to shareholders’ agreement.