Bankrate shares fell in their market debut Friday, but Chief Executive Tom Evans said he is not concerned.
"We're building a business over time," he told CNBC from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, just after the stock began trading under the ticker symbol "RATE." "How it trades in the first hour, how it trades in the first day is really not what we’re focused on."
The finance data publisher priced the offering at $15, the midpoint of its expected range. Bankrate had indicated in a regulatory filing that it planned to offer 12.5 million shares of common stock at a price of $14 to $16 apiece.
Opening with a valuation of $1.5 billion, Bankrate is one of many personal-finance websites where consumers can get rates on mortgages and certificates of deposits, as well as calculate savings, credit-card payoffs and refinancing, and more.
However, Evans stressed, "We don’t just provide rates. There's also authorative coverage on bankers, a lot of features, guides, tools, help for the consumer to provide them with the kind of information that can help them make smart decisions. People are looking for help and advice. We’re a branded destination site."
The company continues to be majority-owned by private-equity firm Apax Partners, which will be cutting its stake of more than 85 percent by about 8 percent over the next two to four years, Evans said.
CNBC.com has a content-sharing agreement with Bankrate.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.