AvidXchange launches IPO and hopes to raise $660 million

AvidXchange employees celebrated the company’s debut on the Nasdaq on Wednesday. The price at market close was $24.94, in line with the firm’s estimates in previous filings.

AvidXchange employees celebrated the company’s debut on the Nasdaq on Wednesday. The price at market close was $24.94, in line with the firm’s estimates in previous filings.

Courtesy of AvidXchange

One of Charlotte’s homegrown tech firms has officially gone public.

Shares of fintech AvidXchange started trading on the Nasdaq exchange midday Wednesday under the ticker symbol AVDX.

It had started trading shortly after noon at $24.20, according to the Nasdaq website. At market close at 4 pm, the price had ticked up to $24.94.

Late Tuesday night, AvidXchange said it was raising its target proceeds for its initial public offering. The company said it had priced 26.4 million shares of its common stock at $25 per share and expected to raise $660 million in the offering.

That’s a larger offering than the payment software company estimated in previous filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In a filing last week, AvidXchange said it was seeking to raise $582 million, offering 22 million shares of common stock priced between $21 and $23. A few days later, it bumped that price range up to $23 to $25 in a subsequent filing.

AvidXchange automates bill payments and invoices for midsize companies.

Payment software company AvidXchange went public on the Nasdaq Wednesday.. Jenna Eason jeason@charlotteobserver.com

A Charlotte ‘unicorn’

For the past few years, AvidXchange was one of Charlotte’s “unicorns”, a term for a privately held company with a valuation of at least $1 billion. As early as January of last year, CEO Michael Praeger hinted that the payment software company might eventually go public.

“We definitely think that for us to achieve our long-term potential we’ll look to be a public company at some point,” he told the Observer at the time.

Those plans finally emerged last month, when AvidXchange first filed for an initial public offering with the SEC.

The filing is one of the larger IPOs in Charlotte in recent years.

What’s next for AvidXchange

The offering stands to benefit several major stakeholders, in Charlotte and beyond.

Praeger owns more than 14.1 million shares, about 7.4% of the company’s total after the offering. At $25 each, those shares would be worth over $350 million, at least on paper.

In its filings, AvidXchange said it plans to use the proceeds from the offering for new hires, sales and marketing efforts, product development and possible new acquisitions or investments. The company employs more than 1,000 people in Charlotte.

AvidXchange has been operating at a net loss for the past couple of years, but that isn’t unusual for expanding firms that are plugging revenues back into growth efforts. The company posted a net loss of approximately $101 million last year and and a net loss of $93.5 million in 2019, it disclosed in its filings.

Prager founded AvidXchange in a local coffee shop in 2000.

A successful offering could boost the city’s reputation as a tech town, said Tariq Bokhari, a Charlotte city councilman and executive director of Carolina Fintech Hub.

“That access to capital and their growth strategy is going to create jobs,” Bokhari told the Observer last week.

This story was originally published October 13, 2021 10:58 AM.

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Hannah Lang covers banking and finance for The Charlotte Observer. She studied business journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and grew up in the same town as her alma mater.

Read More: AvidXchange launches IPO and hopes to raise $660 million

2021-10-13 20:15:48

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