By Noor Zainab Hussain
(Reuters) -Shares of PowerSchool Holdings Inc rose 2.8% in their New York Stock Exchange debut on Wednesday, giving the cloud-based education software provider a valuation of about $3.57 billion.
PowerSchool’s listing comes as school districts have steadily increased investment in cloud-based software solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It (pandemic) put a bright shining light to the digital divide as well as need for digital transformation for school districts,” Chief Executive Officer Hardeep Gulati told Reuters.
“We are at an unique position to help provide these unified platforms to these districts and help them support this digital transformation explosion,” he added.
PowerSchool was unofficially started by Greg Porter as a teenager when he developed record-keeping software at his high school in 1983. The school in California paid Porter and his friend $350 for the program.
Fourteen years later, Porter sold the first version of PowerSchool Student Information System. The company now has customers in more than 90 countries and its software is used by 45 million students globally.
PowerSchool, which is backed by private equity firms Vista Equity Partners and Onex Corp, sold 39.5 million shares in its initial public offering (IPO) at $18.00 apiece, the bottom end of its target range.
The Folsom, California-based company raised $710.5 million in the IPO, making it the largest listing in the K-12 education software space in North America, PowerSchool said.
For the quarter ended March 31, 2021, PowerSchool reported a 29.1% jump in adjusted core earnings to $37.6 million.
Goldman Sachs & Co LLC, Barclays, Credit Suisse and UBS Investment Bank were lead underwriters on the offering.
(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Shailesh Kuber)