Why Coursera Is the IPO to Watch on Wednesday

Coursera Inc. (NYSE: COUR) entered the market with a bang on Wednesday. Although the company priced its shares at the high end of the expected range, shares rose even higher in response to demand. The stock went out around $39, well above the original pricing of $33.

The company was offering about 15.7 million shares, and the expected price range was $30 to $33, with an overallotment option for an additional 2.36 million. At the $33 price, the entire offering was valued up to nearly $597 million.

The underwriters for the offering are Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, UBS, KeyBanc Capital Markets, Raymond James, Stifel, Truist Securities, William Blair, D.A. Davidson, Needham, Loop Capital Markets and Telsey Advisory.

Coursera was launched in 2012, and it is now one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, with 77 million registered learners. Coursera partners with over 200 leading university and industry partners to offer a broad catalog of content and credentials, including guided projects, courses, specializations, certificates and bachelor’s and master’s degrees. More than 6,000 institutions have used Coursera to upskill and reskill their employees, citizens and students, including in high-demand fields such as data science, technology and business.

Note that this company has been a major beneficiary of the learn-from-home transition that materialized during the pandemic. However, the pandemic has not been the only catalyst pushing this company forward. Rising costs at colleges and universities has been a barrier to entry for some into higher education and Coursera could provide that avenue for many.

The company intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Coursera stock traded at $39.40 on Wednesday, in a range of $38.52 to $40.52 on the day thus far. About 4 million shares had moved as of 12:25 p.m. Eastern.