which saw its shares rise nearly 35% on Thursday’s first trading day, is set to become the Google of synthetic biology, according to founder and CEO Sean McClain
The Vancouver, Wash.-based company is more than a biotech, McClain said. Companies like
(ticker: MRK), an investor in the company, and Astellas, are hiring Absci (ABSI) to use its AI-powered drug-making platform to identify biological or protein-based drugs for them. The technology is helping to speed up drug development. Absci does not own the drugs it develops, but does receive royalties as the drugs progress, he said.
“Think about [us] as the Google index search for drug discovery and bioproduction. [Our] technology allows us to get drugs to patients at truly unprecedented rates,” McClain said Barron’s of the
McClain founded Absci ten years ago in a basement lab. “And here we are ringing the bell at the Nasdaq 10 years later,” the founder said.
Absci was one of six companies to list their shares on Thursday. The shares rose significantly from their bid price of $16 to $21.59, valuing Absci at approximately $2 billion.
Absci decided to go public because it is looking for people. The company currently employs about 170 people and plans to have 240 to 250 employees by the end of the year, McClain said. “The IPO is all about talent. We live or die by talent… The IPO provides great visibility for acquiring and retaining talent,” he said.
McClain said he was “absolutely excited” with the outcome of the offer. “The IPO signaled to the market that investors are excited about our vision of becoming the Google of synthetic biology,” he said.
(BASE), a cloud database software provider, also went public on Thursday with shares soaring nearly 27% to finish at $30.40. This gives Couchbase a market cap of $1.2 billion.
Couchbase’s database software helps companies such as:
(DPZ) and Amadeus manage their web and mobile applications. “If you have booked a trip [on Amadeus], there’s a good chance that experience will be powered by the Couchbase platform,” said Matt Cain, president and CEO.
The operational database market is one of the largest in the software industry with a total addressable market estimated at $57 billion, Cain said. Barron’s. “Companies like
cannot meet customer needs in the way we can,” he said.
Couchbase is also one of the first companies to participate in a hybrid roadshow before its IPO. Roadshows, where management teams talk to investors before a company is listed, have been virtual events since the pandemic caused companies to go distance in 2020. Couchbase did the first part of its roadshow remotely and has spent the past two weeks in New York talking to investors, Cain said, adding that Couchbase’s management has held several in-person meetings. “We were overwhelmed by the number of investors we interacted with,” he said.
(INST) gained 5% on its market debut, closing at $20.98. The $2.9 billion Salt Lake City company provides a cloud-based learning platform to more than 6,000 customers, including higher education institutions, as well as K-12 districts and schools in more than 90 countries.
Instructure’s software helps free up teachers by eliminating many manual processes, says CEO Steve Daly. The Instructure platform allows teachers to post their lesson plans online, as well as quizzes and grades. This simplifies teachers’ lives so that “they can focus on what they did in education in the first place, which is teaching and mentoring students,” Daly said.
Instructure plans to use the proceeds from the IPO to pay off its $790 million debt, which will drop to $500 million after the offering, he said. Instructure, which employs some 1,200 people, is also looking for staff. “One of the reasons we’re so excited about going public now is that we have a public stock to attract the best and brightest,” Daly said.
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