Restaurants

Restaurant tech firm Olo shares soar 39% in IPO as online ordering surges

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Key Points
  • Olo shares soared as much as 39% in afternoon trading during its public market debut.
  • The company makes software for restaurant online ordering, and its clients include Shake Shack and Chili's.
  • CEO Noah Glass said that going public will help raise the profile of the company, which could help its future growth.
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Olo CEO Noah Glass on the company's IPO

Olo, which makes online ordering software for restaurants, saw shares soar 39% in its public market debut on Wednesday.

The company priced shares at $25 per share, raising about $450 million at a valuation of $3.6 billion. The stock closed on Wednesday at $34.75 per share. Olo had initially said that its target price was $16 to $18 per share, before raising it to $20 to $22 per share on Monday. The stock is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "OLO."

"For us, we are so well known within the restaurant industry but so unknown outside the restaurant industry, certainly by public investors, so it's important for us to meet with as many investors as we could," CEO Noah Glass said in an interview.

Before the initial public offering, Olo had raised less than $100 million in funding from outside investors since the company was founded in 2005. That stands in stark contrast to other restaurant tech companies, like DoorDash, which raised $2 billion before it went public in December.

Glass said that the higher profile of being publicly listed could help Olo grow beyond large chain restaurants into working with smaller eateries or even working with grocery or convenience stores.

The surge in online restaurant ordering during the coronavirus pandemic helped Olo turn a profit of $3.06 million last year, according to regulatory filings. In 2018 and 2019, the company lost money.

In 2020, net sales nearly doubled to $98.4 million. Olo's revenue comes from the subscription fees it charges restaurant chains like Shake Shack and Brinker International's Chili's for access to its digital ordering software, as well as transaction fees for delivery orders.