PagerDuty pops nearly 60% in debut as tech IPO market heats up

Key Points
  • PagerDuty shares traded at $38.25 a piece.
  • The stock jumped 59% in its market debut.
  • PagerDuty is the first notable software company to go public this year, and comes ahead of Zoom's expected offering next week.
PagerDuty CEO Jennifer Tejada

PagerDuty shares jumped 59% in their opening day of trading on Thursday in the first notable software IPO of 2019. Shares traded at $38.25 a piece, leaving PagerDuty with a market capitalization of around $2.8 billion. The stock had been priced at $24 Wednesday at a market cap of nearly $1.8 billion.

The rally, if it can be sustained, should offer some relief to technology investors following Lyft's post-IPO performance, especially with bigger companies like Zoom, Pinterest and Uber preparing to hit the public markets in the coming weeks. Lyft debuted at $72 on March 29, but has stumbled since, closing on Wednesday at $60.12.

PagerDuty, whose software helps technical teams quickly spot problems with applications and respond to incidents such as customer complaints, is used by developers at over 11,000 companies, including Slack, Box, Gap and Netflix. Revenue jumped 48 percent last year to $117.8 million, though the company's net loss widened to $40.7 million from $38.1 million a year earlier.

Its previous financing round was in September, when T. Rowe Price Group led a $90 million investment at a $1.3 billion valuation.

The so-called DevOps market is expected to reach $10.3 billion a year by 2023, up from $3.4 billion last year, according to research from MarketsandMarkets. Ethan Kurzweil, a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, one of PagerDuty's biggest investors, said that these sorts of developer tools are gaining importance as software becomes central to the way more companies do business.

"It's the practitioner that's making the decision to adopt, and then ultimately is the one that controls the purchasing decisions, as opposed to selling to a central IT gatekeeper," said Kurzweil, whose firm owned about 12 percent of PagerDuty prior to the offering. "The next generation of cloud technology is being sold bottoms-up to the people using it."

PagerDuty was founded in 2009 by three former Amazon developers. In 2016, the company hired industry veteran Jennifer Tejada as its CEO. She owns about 6 percent of the company. The biggest investors are Andreessen Horowitz at 18 percent before the offering, followed by Accel at 12 percent.

PagerDuty's competitors include Atlassian and Splunk, which have both acquired their way into the market.

WATCH: PagerDuty CEO on cloud computing, cybersecurity and diverse leadership

PagerDuty CEO on cloud computing, cybersecurity and diverse leadership
PagerDuty CEO on cloud computing, cybersecurity and diverse leadership