Lemonade soared on July 2 as its stock price climbing nearly 140 percent in the InsurTech’s debut day as a public company.
It’s a significant achievement for the New York-based startup, which only launched in 2016. Profitability will be a crucial next step.
Lemonade, which sells digital home and rental insurance domestically and is now expanding in Europe, initially disclosed plans in late June to raise up to $286 million in an initial public offering of 11 million shares, with a target range of $23 to $26 per share. On July 2, the day Lemonade’s IPO launched, that target range clicked higher to $308 million, at $26 to $28 per share.
Once the IPO trigger was pulled, Lemonade’s debut on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker sign LMND) nudged higher still, starting at $29 per share. (Trading was closed on July 3 in recognition of the July 4 Independence Day holiday.)
By the end of trading on July 2, Lemonade’s stock price had jumped more than $40, closing at $69.41.
What this means, in part, is a healthy exit for Lemonade’s A-list investors: Japan’s SoftBank Group, Allianz, Google’s venture capital arm, General Catalyst, OurCrowd and Thrive Capital. The company can also cite its debut as proof that investors are interested in its business model and pledge to upend the broader property/casualty insurance industry with digital and other innovations.
Christian Wiens, CEO of German InsurTech MGA Getsafe issued an email statement about Lemonade’ IPO, arguing its success showed that InsurTechs can thrive even with crises such as COVID-19.
“The successful Lemonade IPO is … a positive sign for us,” Wiens wrote in part. “Digital insurance is becoming the new standard.”
Some observers two weeks before Lemonade’s IPO expressed skepticism about the company’s attempt to raise money in the public markets after having pulled in nearly $500 million in venture capital financing up to that point.
“We’re skeptical of Lemonade’s IPO because the company has no material product or value proposition advantage—it’s another AI-backed, loss-making fintech with a popgun marketing budget that targets millennials. Additionally, the cost to scale is tremendous, and the road is only going to get harder,” Hugh Tallents, senior partner at New York-based management consulting firm cg42, told Carrier Management.
Nate Pacer, co-founder and chief research officer of the analyst firm Venture Scanner, told Carrier Management in late June that he saw Lemonade’s IPO as generally positive, despite the uncertainties.
“Is the IPO a good thing? Yes. Insiders get liquidity and funds to operate the business, and new investors get exposure to a business model they believe in,” Pacer said.
He added that Lemonade appeared to be heading toward the public markets with clear eyes and expectations.
“Lemonade has a future similar to other tech companies that have gone public recently,” Pacer said. “Their prospectus makes it clear they are not currently making money, but that they believe they have a pathway to profitability. Some companies have succeeded at this and others have failed. It will be up to Lemonade to execute.”