initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Friday, April 4, 2014

GrubHub (GRUB) began trading on the NYSE on 4 April 2014

  • GrubHub shares up 31% on 1st day of trading

CEO Matthew Maloney of GrubHub rings the opening bell at The New York Stock Exchange on April 4, 2014 in New York City

People dressed in food-themed costumes walk on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate the IPO of GrubHub.

GrubHub co-founders Mike Evans, left, and Matt Maloney, right, pictured inside the company's headquarters.

GrubHub's debut is among the best of recent Chicago-area tech IPOs. Arlington Heights-based Paylocity Holding Corp., which went public March 13, enjoyed a 41 percent jump on the first day. Textura Corp., based in Deerfield, had a 39 percent opening-day bounce when it went public in June.

CEO Matt Maloney, who founded the company a decade ago with Mike Evans, led the coast-to-coast road show over the past two weeks. Investors quickly warmed to GrubHub's story and the company's potential to disrupt a large old industry.

As an e-commerce company, GrubHub often has been overshadowed by Groupon Inc. Although they are two of the highest-profile companies in the recent emergence of Chicago's startup tech scene, they took very different paths.

Andrew Mason, who was a coder at Chicago e-commerce company InnerWorkings, dropped out of grad school at University of Chicago to start Groupon with InnerWorkings founder Eric Lefkofsky. The daily-deal idea exploded, and Groupon briefly became one of the nation's hottest tech companies before stumbling. Though it topped $1 billion in revenue, Groupon wasn't profitable when it went public in 2011 and still isn't. Today, Groupon's market value is about $5.3 billion, less than what Google Inc. offered to buy the company nearly four years ago.

Messrs. Evans and Maloney were coders at After launching the company, Mr. Maloney went back to University of Chicago to get an MBA. They built the company slowly and ended up merging with rival Seamless before attempting an IPO. While the combined company had $170 million in revenue last year, it had a profit of $4.2 million. GrubHub has been profitable for three years, according to its prospectus.

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