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Squarespace valuation plunges to $6.5 billion in lacklustre debut

By Reuters

(Reuters) – Squarespace Inc’s valuation dropped by nearly a third in its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, after its shares opened 4% below their reference price amid a broader market sell-off.

Shares of the website building and hosting company opened at $48 each on a day Wall Street’s main indexes were down on inflation jitters. The NYSE had set a reference price of $50 each.

The New York-based company was valued at $6.5 billion, a steep drop from the $10 billion valuation after its funding round announced in March.

Rival Ltd had a market capitalisation of $12.8 billion as of Tuesday, while GoDaddy Inc was worth $13.7 billion, as of last close.

The NYSE reference price was already at a 27% discount to $68.42 at which Squarespace priced its private placement in March.

Squarespace continued with its listing plan despite choppy market conditions that forced at least three companies to postpone their debuts last week.

The company’s tepid debut follows a record run in U.S. IPO market for nearly 15 months that has seen investors rush to new listings, particularly of growth stocks including Affirm Holdings and Coupang Inc.

The company, which had confidentially filed for a stock market listing in January this year, went public through a direct listing in which no shares are sold in advance and the debut price is determined by orders coming into the stock exchange.

Founded in 2003, Squarespace counts Tiger Global, D1 Capital Partners and Fidelity Management among its backers.

Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are among the financial advisers for its listing.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)