Coinbase stock jumps in Nasdaq debut

Coinbase Global Inc. shares surged above the reference price that was set by the Nasdaq.

Shares of the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange, which trade under the ticker COIN, opened for trading at $381 apiece, giving the company a valuation of about $99.5 billion. 

The Nasdaq set a direct listing reference price of $250 per share, or a $65.3 billion valuation on a fully diluted basis. The reference price is derived by looking at where shares were trading on the private market and weighing input from investment bankers.

A direct listing allows a company to go public without issuing new shares and raising capital. The process allows current investors to begin selling shares once they begin trading on the exchange. 

Coinbase had 261.3 million shares of common stock as of Apr. 12. 

Direct listings have become more popular in recent years after streaming music platform Spotify Technology SA in 2018 chose to forgo the traditional route of an initial public offering. Since then, Slack Technologies Inc., Palantir Technologies Inc. and Roblox Corp. are among the companies that have chosen to go public via direct listing. 

159b88dc-Coinbase Cryptocurrency Exchange Website And Novelty Coins : Illustration

In this photo illustration, a visual representation of the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin is displayed in front of the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange platform logo on April 14, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)

Coinbase chose the direct listing route after last year booking a $322.3 million profit as revenue surged 143% to $1.3 billion, according to a regulatory filing. The company lost $30.4 million in the prior year. 

Coinbase has since its 2012 inception raked in $3.4 billion in revenue. Transaction revenue has accounted for 96% of total sales. 

The company has more than 43 million retail users and over 7,000 institutions on its platform.  

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Allen & Co and Citigroup acted as Coinbase's financial advisers.

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