Twilio Prices Up in First Silicon Valley Tech IPO of the Year

Cloud communications startup Twilio priced its shares above the expected range Wednesday -- a positive sign for analysts eagerly waiting to see if the company will reinvigorate the stagnant IPO market.

Twilio said it will start trading Thursday at $15 per share, above the $12 to $14 range the company had previously indicated. The deal, which will be the first Silicon Valley tech IPO of the year, is being closely watched as a bellwether to test whether the market will be receptive of future tech IPOs this year.

"There's a lot of buzz around this offering and I think it sends a great signal to the market," Paul Boyd, managing partner of ClearPath Capital Partners, wrote in an email. "Let's see if others follow suit and go out the gate."

Boyd said he's seen great demand for Twilio shares, and the IPO is oversubscribed.

At $15 per share, Twilio will be worth $1.23 billion. It was worth $1.03 billion as a private company, and its shares were valued at $11.31 during its most recent round of fundraising last year, according to data from venture capital database PitchBook.

Twilio, which provides communication technology to companies including Uber, is set to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TWLO.

Analysts hope the company's debut will end the IPO drought in Silicon Valley, which hasn't seen a tech offering since Square went public in November. But it all depends on how the market responds. Experts say a strong opening-day performance by Twilio could encourage additional area tech companies to take the plunge, while a weak showing could scare off other candidates.

"You definitely need to see the share price go up probably at least 10 to 20 percent, if not more, and then it needs to hold there," said Adley Bowden, PitchBook's vice president of...

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