Jack Dorsey’s payments company Square has finally set the price for its much anticipated IPO at $US9 per share, according to the Wall Street Journal. That will give the company a market cap of $US2.9 billion when it starts trading on the NYSE Thursday.
The share price has been lowered from the $US11 to $US13 per share price range initially proposed by Square in its S1, which would have given a $US4.2 billion valuation at the high end.
That price range was already a drop from the valuation investors gave Square during its most recent private round of financing, when Square raised $US150 million at $US15.50 per share, or at a valuation of $US6 billion, in October 2014. The company has raised over $US590 million since its launch in 2009.
That means the company has lost over half of its value in just a little over a year.
At $US9 a share, Square will be raising $US243 million through its public offering.
Square’s offering is the second high-profile IPO this week, alongside Match Group, which owns a group of dating service companies, including Tinder and OkCupid.
But Square’s lowered IPO share price is a bit of a downer for the tech sector in general. Square has been one of the hottest startups in recent memory, and it was one of the most anticipated tech IPOs of the year.
It could also serve as a bellwether for other tech companies planning to go public soon. There hasn’t been a lot of successful tech IPOs this year, and the lukewarm response Square has drawn from Wall Street shows investors may not warm up to large tech companies going public for the rest of the year.
Companies like Box and Etsy have struggled to keep up its share price lately, while Pure Storage saw its share price plummet before going back up to flat levels.
It could also be an indication that investors are not particularly happy about Square CEO Jack Dorsey running two public companies, as he’s also CEO of Twitter. But a lowered share price could also lead to a bigger first-day pop, and give Square good momentum to start its public listing.
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