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CarGurus shares rise more than 72 percent in trading debut

  • The company priced its 9.4-million-share public offering at $16 a share, above the expected range of $13 to $15 apiece.
  • It trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol "CARG."
  • CarGurus wants to do the same thing for car dealerships that TripAdvisor did for hotels: increase transparency.

Shares of car search company CarGurus popped on Thursday, the stock's first day on the public market.

CarGurus shares closed more than 72 percent higher on Thursday. The company priced its 9.4-million-share public offering at $16 a share, above the expected range of $13 to $15 apiece. It trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol "CARG."

The company offers a marketplace allowing users to see how car dealers are rated. CEO Langley Steinert, who also co-founded TripAdvisor, said CarGurus wants to do the same thing for car dealerships that TripAdvisor did for hotels: increase transparency.

The $150.4 million IPO will help the Massachusetts start-up grow in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany, expand services for dealers, and help consumers trade and sell cars to other consumers, according to Steinert, who spoke to CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Thursday.

The company generated $198.1 million in revenue in 2016, up 101 percent from 2015, according to its prospectus. CarGurus became profitable in 2016, with a net income of $6.5 million, up from a net loss of $1.6 million the prior year.

— Reuters contributed to this report.