Definitive Healthcare made a definitive statement about its future during its stock market debut on Wednesday, with shares soaring 60 percent after an initial public offering.
Last week, the company disclosed a target price range for the IPO that was as high as $24 a share. Then, Tuesday night, it priced its stock at $27 a share. Definitive raised about $420 million by selling its shares at a price that valued the company at more than $4 billion. And by the end of trading Wednesday, Definitive’s stock had climbed to more than $43 a share, giving it a market value of $6.4 billion.
“We see this as a great opportunity to accelerate on our mission,” said Jason Krantz, Definitive’s chief executive. “At this point, we expect ourselves to be a cornerstone in Boston, similar to a HubSpot or a Wayfair over time. As a proud Bostonian, I want to see another company go public, stick around, and be a franchise player.”
Krantz launched the business in 2011 to offer market intelligence about the healthcare industry for companies selling anything from MRIs to masking tape. Today, the Framingham-based firm has more than 2,600 customers — banks, architects, even a jam-maker — that subscribe to its software to identify potential sales leads and find purchasing information at hospitals, doctors’ groups, and other healthcare providers. Using artificial intelligence and data analytics, Krantz said, Definitive is trying to resolve the challenges that companies face when selling into the increasingly complex and fractured healthcare market.
Definitive generated $118 million in revenue last year, and reported a net loss of $51 million, although Krantz said the company has been solidly profitable on an operating basis for much of its existence. (Chief financial officer Rick Booth says while the company primarily measures itself by cash generated by operations, it posted a net loss in 2020 on an accounting basis, largely due to non-cash charges related to a 2019 private equity investment.) It has made five acquisitions along the way, and employs about 650 people today, most of them based in Framingham, where it leases about 100,000 square feet across two office buildings near the Massachusetts Turnpike.
The company is not using the IPO proceeds to cash out existing investors, which include Boston private equity firms Advent International and Spectrum Equity. Instead, Krantz plans to plow the money into research, development, and acquisitions. His workforce has grown by about 100-plus positions in the past year. Krantz expects to see similar job growth within the next 12 months.
For finding talent, Krantz said he can’t think of a better place than Greater Boston, with the region’s surplus of business-to-business software firms, its density of biotechs, and its renowned healthcare operations.
“It’s just a hub for all of that type of activity,” Krantz said of the region. “We really need the best and brightest people to solve these problems.”