Uruguay’s DLocal Jumps Almost 54% After $617.4 Million IPO

DLocal Ltd., Uruguay’s first startup to reach a $1 billion valuation, jumped 54% in its trading debut after raising $617.4 million in its U.S. initial public offering.

Shares closed at $32.39 in New York after the company and its existing shareholders sold 29.4 million shares at $21 apiece on Wednesday. The shares were marketed at $16 to $18 each, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The stock traded as high as $33.50, 59.5% above the IPO price, giving DLocal a market value of about $10.4 billion.

While the overall volume of foreign companies listing in the U.S. has dropped, as Chinese companies in particular increasingly favor domestic offerings, startups from other regions have filled the void.

Founded in 2016 by Uruguayan tech entrepreneurs Andres Bzurovski and Sergio Fogel, as well as Sebastian Kanovich and Jacobo Singer, DLocal became Uruguay’s first unicorn after private equity firms General Atlantic and Addition invested $200 million in September. A subsequent funding round two months ago valued the company at $5 billion.

Uruguay’s DLocal Jumps Almost 54% After $617.4 Million IPO

Uruguay

“We are from Uruguay, which we are extremely proud of, but our market is global,” DLocal’s Chief Executive Officer Kanovich said in an interview Thursday. “The U.S. is the most mature capital market and we believe the transparency that this market brings is the right opportunity for DLocal.”

Bzurovski and General Atlantic are among selling shareholders in the IPO, a filing showed.

The listing also shows the strength of Uruguay’s IT industry, which has produced leaders and firms with a global reach, such as business software developer GeneXus and e-commerce group Trafilea. DLocal is at least the second tech firm with an Uruguayan founder to go public, after internet portal StarMedia Network Inc. listed on the Nasdaq in May 1999.

DLocal is still very much an outlier in Uruguay’s $56 billion economy, which depends heavily on farm exports and tourism.

The country’s president Luis Lacalle Pou congratulated the company on Twitter, saying it is a success in the “big leagues.”

Foreign investors usually buy the most promising tech firms before they grow into so-called centaurs -- private companies valued at more than $100 million -- and well before they reach unicorn status or go public. The IT sector also regularly complains of a skilled labor shortage.

Organic growth

The company’s main focus is organic growth but they’ll keep their options open for acquisitions, Kanovich said.

DLocal, which operates in 29 developing countries, almost doubled its revenue to $104.1 million last year. Latin America accounted for about 89% of sales in the first quarter of 2021.

“Fundamentally we want to be the partner for global companies who want to expand in emerging market,” said Kanovich.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. led the offering. DLocal shares trade on Nasdaq under the symbol DLO.

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