By Sohini Podder
(Reuters) -Shares of DLocal Ltd jumped nearly 48% in their Nasdaq debut on Thursday, giving the Uruguayan cross-border payments firm a market capitalization of about $9 billion.
The company's stock opened at $31, compared with the initial public offering price (IPO) of $21. DLocal sold 29.4 million shares in its IPO, raising about $617.7 million.
Of the shares sold, roughly 4.4 million shares were offered by the company, while the rest were sold by its existing investors.
Activity in the U.S. IPO market has picked up in recent weeks after a brief period of volatility that impacted several market debuts and forced some companies, including hear.com and Enact Holdings Inc, to put their listing plans on hold.
Benefiting from the improved sentiment and strong investor appetite for payment-focused companies, a clutch of startups such as Paymentus Holdings Inc and Flywire Corp has gone public recently. Another payments startup, Marqeta Inc, is set to make its stock market debut next week.
DLocal plans to use the IPO proceeds to add products to its platform and expand geographically, Chief Executive Officer Sebastián Kanovich said in an interview with Reuters.
Founded in 2016, the company has more than 330 merchants on its platform, including Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp, and is present in over 29 countries. It generated revenue of $104 million last year.
In September, DLocal raised about $200 million in a funding round led by private equity firm General Atlantic that valued it at $1.2 billion, making it the first startup in Uruguay to achieve the unicorn status.
J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley were the lead underwriters for the offering.
(Reporting by Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Aditya Soni)