Wish prices at top of range in latest tech IPO

The ecommerce site Wish sold shares to investors at the top of its price range, in another sign of the strong demand for initial public offerings from technology companies.

ContextLogic, which does business under the name of Wish, priced its IPO at $24 a share, according to people briefed on the matter, raising $1.1bn to give the company an implied market capitalisation of more than $14bn.

The company had marketed shares at a price range of $22 to $24. It declined to comment on the final pricing.

Wish’s offering came on the heels of Airbnb and DoorDash’s successful market debuts, which revived memories of the dotcom era and signalled the willingness of public investors to buy into fast-growing but lossmaking tech companies.

San Francisco-based Wish operates an online marketplace largely known for discounted items originating in China, catering to low to middle-income consumers. The company said its proprietary algorithms keep users engaged with a personalised feed of products, resulting in about 1.8m sales a day.

Wish recorded deepening net losses in the first nine months this year, rising to $176m from $5m during the same period in 2019. The company said it made more than $1.7bn in revenues in the first nine months of this year.

Its price range implied a lower market capitalisation than estimates some bankers had at one point cited, which had ranged from $25bn to $30bn. Private investors previously valued Wish at $11.2bn in a round of funding last year led by the investment firm General Atlantic.

But the price Wish begins trading on Nasdaq on Wednesday will be closely watched.

Both Airbnb and DoorDash experienced large first-day trading “pops”, alarming some advisers and executives of companies that had been preparing for IPOs this month.

David Baszucki, chief executive of the gaming company Roblox, said in an email to employees on Friday that he was kicking his company’s listing into the new year and was working with advisers to make “improvements” on the process. Roblox had previously been expected to list its shares before the end of the year.

Wish founder and chief executive Peter Szulczewski owns a stake valued at more than $2.5bn in the company at the IPO price. He will also retain control over the company through a dual-class voting structure.

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