Biometrics company CLEAR trades high from day one as a public company

Shares of biometric screening company CLEAR started trading at $ 38.55 apiece when it debuted on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

CLEAR listed just over 13 million shares at $ 31 apiece on Tuesday, above its initial price range of $ 27 to $ 30, valuing the company at an estimated market cap of $ 4.5 billion.

The stock rose as much as 35% early in trading, peaking on the first day above $ 41.

In February, the company announced a $ 100 million funding round with funders including Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer, the NFL and the Partnership Fund for New York City.

The company has established itself as one of the leaders in biometric security services. A three-time CNBC Disruptor 50 company, CLEAR ranked # 19 on this year’s list.

Founded in 2010 in New York City, CLEAR initially got its start helping travelers navigate airport lines quickly in the post 9/11 travel environment. Frequent travelers can purchase subscriptions for $ 179 per year, which also allows them to use the service at select sports stadiums and entertainment venues.

But as travel and airport traffic plummeted due to Covid-19, CLEAR embarked on biometric screening around the coronavirus. The company has launched a new product, Health Pass, which enables comfortable users to quickly pass through checkpoints that screen for sick and infectious people. The technology was used at the Super Bowl and the app was used by a third of the NBA teams. CLEAR has also modernized its kiosks at airports to take the temperature of passengers.

CLEAR Chairman and CEO Caryn Seidman-Becker said the company’s potential to go beyond travel to places like office buildings, restaurants and stadiums presents “huge opportunities.” .

“My hope in a few years is that aviation will be our smallest vertical, because the others are so much bigger,” Seidman-Becker said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Wednesday morning before the shares started trading. “We just believe there are amazing opportunities to bring the CLEAR platform to life and create frictionless travel wherever you really make it a daily habit.”

Seidman-Becker said she was “incredibly optimistic about travel,” adding that she expects both leisure and business travelers to return.

“If distance makes the heart love, people want to travel today more than ever,” Seidman-Becker told CNBC. “I think business travel is going to come back, and it will come back in a slightly different way. They will return not only with the road warriors, but also with the people who did not travel and who, in a hybrid work environment, live all over the world. country.”

In its IPO prospectus, CLEAR revealed that its revenue fell 17% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the previous year, which included two months of normal activity before the pandemic. In 2020, CLEAR’s revenue increased 20% to $ 230.8 million, reducing its net loss to $ 9.3 million from $ 54.2 million a year earlier.

CLEAR says it has 5.6 million members and operates at 38 airports. It also has 26 sports and entertainment partners.

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo were the primary underwriters in the CLEAR offering.

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About Jonathan J. Kramer

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