Waystar shares slip in debut after pricing IPO in middle of range

The Nasdaq Market site is seen on the day that shares of Truth Social and Trump Media & Technology Group start trading under the ticker “DJT”, outside the Nasdaq Market site in New York City, U.S., March 26, 2024. 

Brendan Mcdermid | Reuters

Waystar shares slid about 3% in their Nasdaq debut on Friday, after the health-care payment software vendor priced its IPO in the middle of the expected range.

The stock opened at $21 per share, below the IPO price of $21.50 per share late Thursday. In May, Waystar said its expected price would be between $20 and $23 per share.

The IPO market has been largely dormant since late 2021, when the extended bull market turned and investors began to worry about a weakening economy. Few technology companies have been willing to take the leap since then to try and go public, and no digital health companies had a public exit in 2023, according to a report from Rock Health.

But the broader venture-backed tech market may be beginning to thaw. Social media platform Reddit, data center connectivity chip vendor Astera Labs and data software management maker Rubrik have all gone public this year. Health tech company Tempus AI has also issued a preliminary prospectus this year.

Based on Waystar’s initial share price, the company’s market cap is about $3.5 billion. The stock is trading under the ticker symbol “WAY.”

Waystar offers health-care payment and revenue cycle management tools, and facilitates more than 5 billion payment transactions annually, according to its prospectus. The company was formed in 2017 after the health-care payment companies Navicure and ZirMed merged.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to be a public company because we think it helps us with awareness, helps us with credibility, helps us improve our capital structure and allows for further investments in areas such as generative AI,” Waystar CEO Matt Hawkins told CNBC’s “The Exchange” Friday.

For the quarter ending March 31, Waystar generated revenue of $224.8 million, up 18% from $191.1 in the same period last year. Waystar reported a net loss of $15.9 million for the quarter compared to $10.6 million a year ago.

The company said it plans to use the money from the offering to pay off existing debt. JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Barclays are led the offering.

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