GoDaddy, the domain name registration and web hosting company, was valued at more than $5bn on Wednesday when its shares soared by 30% on their floatation on the New York stock exchange.
Shares in the company, founded by billionaire US marine corps veteran Bob Parsons, floated at $20 a share before quickly rising as high as $26.80. That values the company at $5.5bn, including debt.
The company, best known for its highly controversial Super Bowl ads, raised $460m by selling 23m shares.
GoDaddy was forced to pull an advert due to air during the Super Bowl in February, following outrage from animal rights activists as it showed a puppy being sold online. “We underestimated the emotional response,” chief executive Blake Irving said as the company canned the ad. “And we heard that loud and clear.”
GoDaddy’s 2013 Super Bowl advert also caused controversy for showing Sports Illustrated model Bar Rafaeli smooching a geeky small business owner, with the tagline “when sexy meets smart your small business scores”.
This article was written by Rupert Neate in New York, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 1st April 2015 18.39 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010