Spotify has surpassed expectations. On Tuesday, the world’s leading streaming service opened on the New York Stock Exchange at $165.90 a share, putting the company’s value at $29.5 billion. According to TechCrunch, the NYSE had set a “reference price” of $132 per share shortly before Spotify’s Wall Street debut; that estimation translated to a valuation of $23.5 billion.
Spotify bypassed the traditional offering of large companies and instead began trading through a direct listing. This approach, also known as “direct public offering,” allowed current shareholders to sell an existing number shares directly to stock market investors rather than issuing new stock like a traditional IPO. The method allows Spotify shareholders, such as employees, to sell early. It also meant Spotify could avoid the cost of hiring underwriters who would essentially decide how many shares an investor would want to purchase and at what price.
Spotify founder Daniel Ek explained why the company took this approach in a blog post.
“Spotify is not raising capital, and our shareholders and employees have been free to buy and sell our stock for years. So while tomorrow puts us on a bigger stage, it doesn’t change who we are, what we are about, or how we operate. This is why we are doing things a little differently,” he wrote in part. “[…] Spotify has never been a normal kind of company. As I mentioned during our Investor Day, our focus isn’t on the initial splash. Instead, we will be working on trying to build, plan, and imagine for the long term. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we stumble. The constant is that we believe we are still early in our journey and we have room to learn and grow.”
Spotify generated about $5 billion in revenue last year, with a $1.47 billion loss. Last month, the company said it had 159 million monthly active users, 71 million of whom are premium subscribers.
Spotify was able to close the day at $149.95 per share, according to MarketWatch, which brings the valutation of the company to $27 billion.