Tinder parent Match ends up 22% in trading debut

Tinder app.
Source: Tinder
Tinder app.

Shares of Match Group whipsawed in its trading debut Thursday, soaring 15 percent at one point from its initial public offering price of $12. Stock later ended the session at $14.74, up nearly 23 percent from the open.

The parent of Tinder, OkCupid and other online dating services had priced its IPO to raise $400 million, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters, valuing it at around $4.2 billion, including debt.

Its stock began trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker MTCH. Its prices on Wednesday was the low range of $12 to $14 a share.

The Texas- based company, owned by media mogul Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp, has developed online dating sites that work well on smartphones, attracting busy young professionals that are highly coveted by advertisers.

"Tinder has been great for us," Greg Blatt, Match Group's chairman, told CNBC's "Squawk Box.". "Our category has been around for a long time, but historically it had been an over-30s-type crowd or late 20s. Tinder really opened up the entire 20s population for this category."

The IPO market has been roiled by volatility, postponing and discounting other high-profile listings.

"It's been a choppy market and not as frothy as it was when we set out to do this a while back," Blatt said. "And now the events of the last two weeks have made people nervous and everything else. I think the price to get liquidity is higher than it's been. "

Match Group generated around $753 million in revenue in the first nine months of 2015, a 16 percent jump over the same period in 2014.

Blatt told CNBC that traditionally, the business makes most of its money from subscription revenues. But over time, Match has grown its audience of nonpaying users to 55 million per month, opening the door for tests using targeted demographic information and advertising.

In July, Match Group agreed to buy dating site PlentyOfFish for $575 million. It previously acquired OkCupid, Meetic and Twoo.

IAC is using proceeds from the IPO to pay down debt. The IPO will also help distinguish Match Group from IAC's nondating oriented portfolio companies, such as video website Vimeo and humor website College Humor.

JPMorgan Chase, Allen & Co and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are the underwriters for the offering.

— Reuters contributed to this report.