US Markets

Investors eating up GrubHub on opening day

Reuters With CNBC
GrubHub CEO eyes growth

Shares of GrubHub, the biggest U.S online food-delivery service, rose as much as 57 percent in its market debut as investors scrambled for a piece of the fast-growing consumer internet company.

GrubHub's shares opened at $40 and touched a high of $40.80 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, valuing the company at about $3.20 billion.

The company was formed in 2004 when founders Matthew Maloney and Michael Evans grew tired of ordering pizza every night and sought variety in the kind of food that could be ordered online.

GrubHub processed $1.3 billion in food orders last year—still a fraction of the $67 billion that Americans spend on takeout from independent restaurants every year.

A GrubHub banner on the exterior of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, April 4, 2014.
Jin Lee | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The company counts paper menus as its biggest competition and noted that only 3 percent of takeout orders are placed online, with a majority of orders being processed over the phone.

"[W]hat we're doing is trying to accelerate that inevitable offline to online conversion of pick-up and delivery ordering. That's what we're all about," CEO Maloney told CNBC's Squawk on the Street on Friday.

Restaurants also prefer GrubHub's services since it cuts down the time spent taking orders on the phone during peak hours.

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GrubHub receives a commission from restaurants on orders booked through its website and mobile applications.

The company's network includes 28,800 restaurants in 600 cities and it processed more than 135,000 orders a day in 2013.

The company's revenue jumped 67 percent to $137.1 million in 2012, though net profit slipped to $6.75 million from $7.9 million.

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Mobile orders rose 43 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with 20 percent in the same period in 2011, the company said in a presentation to investors.

The Chicago-based company's initial public offering raised about $193 million after its upsized offering was priced at $26 per share, above its expected range. At the offer price, the company was valued at $2.04 billion.

Of the 7.4 million class shares on offer, the company sold 4 million, with the rest being sold by selling stockholders.

The company had earlier planned an offering of 7.03 million shares at between $23 and $25 apiece.

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Citigroup and Morgan Stanley were the lead underwriters to the offering.

—By Reuters. CNBC contributed to this report.