Okta skyrockets more than 38% after IPO

  • IPO for tech company Okta
  • Trading on the Nasdaq with the symbol OKTA
  • Backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, Khosla Ventures and Sequoia Capital
  • Okta helps companies manage how their employees securely sign in to various cloud-based services.

Okta shares popped more than 38 percent on Friday in their debut on the public market, trading around $23.50.

Shares of the stock started trading on the Nasdaq with the symbol OKTA.

The San Francisco-based company priced its offering at $17 a share, on the high end of the expected range of $15 a share to $17 a share. The 11-million-share offering will raise about $187 million for Okta, not counting an over-allotment.

Okta helps companies manage how their employees securely sign in to various cloud-based services. Its revenue grew to $160.3 million in the last fiscal year, up from $85.9 million the year before, according to regulatory filings. But net losses also grew to $83.5 million, wider than the $76.3 million net loss the prior year.

The company is backed by venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, Khosla Ventures and Sequoia Capital.

Sequoia partner Pat Grady wrote a blog post congratulating CEO Todd McKinnon and co-founder Freddy Kerrest on the public offering, noting the pair anticipated the importance of cloud computing "years before the world caught on."

"Long before it was apparent to the rest of the world, Todd and Freddy recognized that the relationship between people and technology was changing in a very fundamental way," Grady wrote. "They not only understood this – they bet their careers on it, recruited a supremely talented team, and chose a few partners – Sequoia included – to join them in building that foundation."

An IPO was an "inevitable" step for the technology company, McKinnon told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday.

"The first time you take venture funding, going public is inevitable and we felt the timing was right and this was a good environment," McKinnon said.

— With reporting from Arjun Kharpal and Ari Levy