Restaurant-software maker Toast valued at nearly $33 billion as shares surge in debut

(Reuters) -Toast Inc fetched a valuation of nearly $33 billion in its New York Stock Exchange debut on Wednesday, as shares of the restaurant software provider jumped 63%, underscoring a deep investor appetite for new tech stocks.

The stock opened at $65.26, compared with its initial public offering price of $40 per share.

Toast’s listing comes at a time when demand for online food delivery has skyrocketed due to the pandemic, with homebound customers ordering through DoorDash Inc, Uber Eats, Grubhub and other services.

The Boston-based company builds software that helps restaurants manage online orders, operate an on-demand delivery network and integrate payments.

Founded in 2011, Toast counts TPG, Tiger Global Management and American Express Ventures among its backers. It partnered with nearly 48,000 restaurant locations and processed more than $38 billion in gross payment volumes over the 12 months ended June 30.

The company was valued at around $5 billion in a funding round in February 2020, shortly before the COVID-19 outbreak.

As restaurant revenues plunged due to lockdowns and other restrictions, Toast cut its employee strength and diversified its offerings to cater to the shifts in dining behavior.

Its new products included contactless ordering, indoor dining payments, curbside notifications for takeout and deliveries on a flat-fee basis.

Toast’s net loss widened to $235 million for the six months ended June 30, from $125 million a year earlier. Revenue, however, more than doubled to $704 million.

The company sold 21.7 million shares in its IPO, raising about $869.6 million. Its IPO was priced above an earlier targeted price range of $34 to $36 per share.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan were the lead underwriters for Toast’s IPO.

(Reporting by Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and Shailesh Kuber)