Wednesday was a golden day for Wix CEO Avishai Abrahami, co-founder and CEO of Wix, a Tel Aviv-based company that offers a do-it-yourself website hosting service.
The same day he took Wix public, selling almost 500,000 of his shares and pocketing about $US8 million, he also sold a startup that he had invested in (and was on the board of), Soluto, he told Business Insider.
Shortly after the NASDAQ bell rang, he was running around New York signing papers for the sale.
“I was probably the first guy in history to have sold a company and IPO at the same time,” he laughs.
Soluto was reportedly bought for about $US130 million by a U.S. company called Asurion, according to the Israeli news site Haaretz. Abrahami didn’t spill the exact sum but did confirmed it was over $US100 million.
He was an angel investor in the company founded in 2008. It had raised $US18 million from a number of investors including Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavours fund.
As for Wix’s IPO, it was being heavily watched by investors in the U.S. and Israel and the results were inconclusive. Wix sold 7.7 million shares, priced at $US16.50. Shares didn’t pop or sink.
That can mean that shares were priced fairly. If shares pop too much after the opening bell, it means that the company could have priced them higher and made more money.
Abrahami was happy with the IPO. “If we opened at $US16.50 and closed the day at $US30, we would have just given away for free a lot of money,” he said.
The Wix IPO raised $US127 million total and the company will use the money to hire more engineers and build new features.
As for his personal windfall on Wednesday, he’s going to continue to be an angel investor in Israeli startups, he told us.
Meanwhile, a number of other up-and-coming Israeli companies are contemplating going public soon. While Wix’s IPO wasn’t spectacular, it didn’t flop. So we’ll see how many more give it a go in 2014.
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