Vancouver, Wash., tech company nLight debuted on the NASDAQ Thursday.
The stock of Vancouver, Wash.-based nLight soared more than 68 percent in its first day of trading Thursday on the Nasdaq market.
The company, which makes semiconductor and fiber lasers for industrial and aerospace companies, announced Wednesday it would sell 6 million shares of stock at $16 a share. The stock, which trades under the ticker LASR, closed Thursday at $26.95, up $10.95, or 68.4 percent.
NLight’s IPO raised about $100 million.
The company was founded by CEO Scott Keeney in Seattle in 2000 and later moved to Vancouver. It now has more than 1,000 employees and offices in the Portland suburb of Hillsboro as well as Finland and Shanghai.
NLight had long planned to go public, Keeney said Thursday, and was waiting for the right moment. After his roadshow talking to investors in the past month, Keeney felt confident the market was ready.
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“We’ve got a deep technology that applies to a broad range of markets, and investors have quite a strong understanding that technology like ours is transforming manufacturing,” he said.
NLight’s lasers are used in manufacturing equipment that is used to cut and weld metal in the creation of everything from electric vehicles to smartphones, he said. The company’s technology came partly from research conducted at a University of Washington semiconductor lab, Keeney said.
The company sells heavily internationally, and its Shanghai office works to assemble products for Chinese customers that make industrial equipment.
Nlight is just one local company expected to go public this week. Bellevue software company Smartsheet is also expected to debut, as is San Francisco-based DocuSign, which was founded in Seattle in 2003 and still has its largest office here.