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Zalando shares rise as much as 12 percent in debut

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Sean Gallup | Getty Images

Shares in Europe's biggest online fashion retailer Zalando rose as much as 12 percent in their Frankfurt debut, valuing the company at about 6 billion euros ($7.6 billion).

Shares in the Berlin-based company, which had been priced at 21.50 euros, started trading at 24.10 euros each but by early morning had pared gains to trade at 22.35 euros in one of Germany's biggest technology flotations in years.

The listing is part of a busy season for e-commerce IPOs, led by the mammoth New York listing of China's Alibaba.

German firm Rocket Internet, which helped to launch Zalando and numerous other e-commerce sites, is poised to list on Thursday after bringing forward its flotation by a week due to strong demand.

Zalando, which began in 2008 by selling shoes in Germany, now ships 1,500 brands to customers in 15 countries.

It was inspired by the U.S. shoe and clothing retailer Zappos.com, which is now owned by Amazon.com. Its closest competitor is Britain's ASOS <ASOS.L>.