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Toast surges in NYSE debut after IPO valued company at $20 billion


Toast IPO at the New York Stock Exchange, September 22, 2021.

Source: NYSE

Toast shares soared 63% in their New York Stock Exchange debut on Wednesday after the provider of technology to restaurants priced its IPO above its expected range.

In its initial public offering, the company sold $40 shares and raised $870m. Its products are in use at over 48,000 restaurants. Toast stated previously that the company expected to list the offering for $34-$36 after an initial price range of $30-33.

Toast now has a market capitalization of over $32.5 million. The stock was listed at $65.26, which increased its share price to $65.26.

Toast’s IPO is happening amid a business revival for a company which was destroyed in the first days of the pandemic. Restaurants were closed and entire cities shut down. In April 2020, Toast slashed half its workforce, and CEO Chris Comparato wrote in a blog post that the prior month, “as a result of necessary social distancing and government-mandated closures, restaurant sales declined by 80 percent in most cities.”

As restaurants began to offer takeout, contactless ordering, and then opened to outside dining options, sales rebounded quickly. Toast offered a credit for one month of software fees and free access to its technology, which enabled online ordering, takeout and gift cards. Revenue was up again by the end of the third quarter and even more than it was one year ago, prior to the pandemic.

Toast’s restaurant technology


Toast’s restaurant technology


For all of 2020, revenue rose 24% to $823.1 million. The revenue nearly tripled to $424.7m in the second quarter. The company’s financial technology solution, consisting of fees from customers who pay them for their payment transactions, accounts for more than 80 percent of this revenue. Other services include hardware subscriptions and professional services.

It is so dependent on revenue processing fees, the majority of which gets returned to payment networks and processors. Toast’s Gross Margin, which is the residual revenue after accounting for costs of goods, was 21% for the second quarter. This is much less than for other software companies. Toast lost $135.5million in its second quarter, up from $53.7 million last year. This was due to rising marketing and sales costs as well as research and development expenditures.

Toast, a Massachusetts-based company, was established in 2012 to develop payment technology and later a complete point-of-sale solution. Toast helped restaurants integrate their payment systems, inventory management, and multilocation control for multiple sites before the Covid-19 epidemic. Investors valued the company at $5 billion in February 2020.

After the rebound from the pandemic, the company held a secondary share sale in November, allowing employees and ex-employees to sell some of their vested stock at a price that valued the company at $8 billion.

WATCH: Toast goes public at $20 billion valuation