Thursday was IPO day for tech companies as Baozun Inc. and Shopify Inc. both completed their initial public offerings.
Baozun, the Chinese e-commerce solutions firm for brands, raised $110 million in its IPO. The Alibaba-backed firm — the investment arm of Alibaba has an 18.2 percent stake and is Baozun’s largest single shareholder — priced its 11 million shares Wednesday night at $10 each, below the planned $12 to $14 range. The shares, which trade under the ticker BZUN on the Nasdaq Exchange, closed up 4.4 percent to $10.44.
Vincent Qiu, chief executive officer of the Shanghai-based firm, said in an interview that it made sense to do the IPO in the U.S. since the company has more than 90 clients, many of which are “international brands with a very strong presence here in the States. To be listed here makes other brands more aware of us in this community.”
The company, founded in 2007, specializes in Web site design and logistics support for brands that want a digital presence in the Chinese online marketplace. The firm counts Nike and Guess as clients and also works with brands on different platforms, whether Alibaba, Tmall or JD.com.
Even though there’s been some contraction in China’s factory sector in May for the third straight month, Qiu said that isn’t an issue for his company. “The online shopping market is the fastest-growing sector in China. For us there’s lots of space to grow. We do not see any slowdown.”
In contrast is Ottawa-based Shopify, which had a far better IPO day, and it could be a just matter of where investors think the future of technology is headed.
Shopify priced its shares at $17, above the expected range of $12 to $14. Trading under the ticker SHOP on the New York Stock Exchange, the cloud-based commerce platform raised $131 million and at one point traded as high as $28.74. The stock closed at $25.68, up 51.1 percent from the $17 a share price Wednesday night.
Cloud technology is getting the attention of companies and investors. Earlier this month, JD.com invested $171 million in Kingdee International Software Group Co., Ltd. Kingdee is a software firm whose goal is to build the biggest big data cloud in China. The two also plan to enter a strategic partnership to collaborate on providing small and medium-sized firms with solutions incorporating cloud service.
The U.S. IPOs of Baozun and Shopify are the second and third in the tech sector this year, after Etsy, which went public in April.