Utah’s Pluralsight crashes the gates on IPO; stock opens up 33 percent

FARMINGTON — Utah tech education giant Pluralsight launched its much anticipated public stock offering Thursday with a NASDAQ bell-ringing ceremony and a pre-opening price of $15 a share.

The stock opened at 33 percent over that price and, as of late Thursday morning, was trading at just under $20 a share.

Pluralsight Rings The Opening Bell in honor of their IPO!

?? Pluralsight Rings The Opening Bell in honor of their IPO! #PluralsightIPO

Posted by Nasdaq on Thursday, May 17, 2018

The pre-opening price moved up steadily ahead of the stock launch, initially estimated at $10-$12 in a company filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. At $15 a share, the company is poised to earn just over $310 million on the 20.7 million initial shares.

Company co-founder and CEO Aaron Skonnard and his team were in New York City to ring the NASDAQ’s opening bell Thursday and the celebration spilled over into the exchange’s Times Square neighborhood. Before the event, Skonnard appeared on CNBC and described what makes his company a standout in the online tech education realm.

“Tech is moving faster today than these companies can learn it,” Skonnard said. “So that creates a big skills gap around the world and holds them back from reaching their full potential. And through Pluralsight’s cloud-based learning platform, we make it possible for them to learn these skills quickly, keep up with the pace of change and thrive in the digital age.”

????Watching @pluralsight CEO @skonnard deliver Opening Bell speech from Farmington, Utah. ??”Let’s do this!” #PluralsightIPO pic.twitter.com/fEclUQbxaY

— Nasdaq (@Nasdaq) May 17, 2018

Farmington-based Pluralsight was launched by Skonnard and three others in 2004 offering in-person, classroom-based technology classes. After spending four years teaching at locations all over the world and building a reputation for a high-caliber curriculum, Skonnard and his team recognized that internet tools had finally evolved to the point where they could move their classes online. The digital reboot of the company launched in 2008 with a selection of its 10 most popular classes and has since evolved into an operation that offers almost 7,000 cloud-based courses.

Unlike many tech startup financing endeavors that scramble for outside funding before a product is ever developed, Pluralsight has been a company on the opposite track, opting to self-finance, or “bootstrap” its operation for nearly a decade before taking on investors.

Skonnard told CNBC that interest in Pluralisights’ 6,700 tech courses, authored by some 1,300 topic experts, is fueled by the rapidly changing world of technology.

“The tech space is moving so quickly, the average software developer has to replace about half of what they know about every two years,” Skonnard said. “They need to be constantly learning to succeed.”

“That’s what makes our value proposition so unique. No one can move as quickly as us to provide that skills training into the enterprise.”

This story will be updated throughout the day.

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Source:: Deseret News – Business News


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