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The biggest tech IPO of 2020 so far is a company you’ve never heard of

Just don’t call it a video-chat app. It’s ZoomInfo, not Zoom.

The biggest tech IPO of 2020 so far is a company you’ve never heard of
[Photo: Flickr user Jonathan Gross]
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The hottest tech IPO of the year so far is ZoomInfo. Just don’t call it a video-chat app.

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ZoomInfo—not to be confused with Zoom Video Communications (which is also having a good year)—raised nearly $1 billion in an initial public offering this week and started trading today on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol ZI. Stock in the enterprise software firm opened at almost double its IPO price of $21 per share. It closed at just under $35 per share.

Founded in 2000, ZoomInfo runs a marketing and sales platform. While the name may be unfamiliar to most, one of ZoomInfo’s previous owners might ring a bell: The company was acquired in 2017 by Great Hill Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm that has invested in businesses such as Wayfair, Bombas, and Custom Ink. Great Hill is also known for mishandling the sports blog Deadspin after acquiring its owner, Gizmodo Media Group.

In February 2019, ZoomInfo was bought by (and merged with) DiscoverOrg, an enterprise software firm based in Vancouver, Washington. Its corporate structure following these acquisitions is complex and involves a small maze of holding companies, as TechCrunch notes.

Now the firm has gone public in the middle of a pandemic and as protests against police brutality spread globally.

“It’s not the backdrop I think anybody had hoped for,” ZoomInfo chief executive Henry Schuck told Axios, “The things happening in our country are a lot more important than a tech company IPOing.”

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The statement checks the cold box of corporate humility, and yet this “backdrop” didn’t prevent the firm from pricing its shares above range, with an initial market cap of $8 billion today, according to Axios. ZoomInfo recorded “its best first month of a quarter ever in April,” the news site notes, and the firm says it’s helped small business pivot and find new business during the pandemic.

Before ZoomInfo’s and Warner Music’s IPOs this week, the stock market’s appetite for buzzy public offerings had run about as cool as tap water in 2020. Compare that to 2019, which brought with it notable public offerings from Saudi Aramco, Alibaba, Uber, Lyft, and Pinterest.