Personal finance firm NerdWallet valued at $1.5 billion in strong market debut

Nov 4 (Reuters) – Shares of NerdWallet Inc (NRDS.O) rose nearly 31% on their stock market debut, valuing the company at around $1.5 billion, as the company joined a group of companies that went public to take advantage of the big investor appetite for tech stocks.

Shares of San Francisco, Calif.-based NerdWallet opened at $23.5. It sold 7.25 million shares at $18 apiece, the midpoint of the price range announced earlier, raising $130.5 million.

NerdWallet, co-founded in 2009 by former hedge fund executive Tim Chen and former JP Morgan trader Jake Gibson, provides financial advice to users on credit cards, loans, mortgages and other financial products.

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Chen was inspired to start a business that made day-to-day financial decisions easier, when he couldn’t find an answer on the internet to his sister’s question about the most suitable credit card for an expat living in Australia.

A slew of fintech companies made their market debut this year, including buy-it-now and pay-later firm Affirm Holdings Inc (AFRM.O), online brokerage Robinhood Markets Inc (HOOD.O) and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc (COIN.O).

Morgan Stanley, BofA Securities, KeyBanc Capital Markets, Barclays and Citigroup are among the joint bookrunners of the NerdWallet offering.

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Reporting by Manya Saini in Bangalore; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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