PayPal Pulls It Off

So PayPal brought it off, going public at $13 a share late Thursday and
raising about $70 million from investors willing to believe that despite the
lawsuits and lack of earnings, this IPO represents the end of the Internet
recession.


The Palo Alto, Calif.-based online payments firm sold 5.4
million shares at $13 each, within the expected price range of $12 to $14
each. Lead underwriter was Salomon Smith Barney.


The stock opened Friday at $15.41 and by mid-morning had climbed to $18.51,
up more than 42 percent.


PayPal, which enables any business or consumer with an e-mail address to send
and receive secure online payments, was forced to delay its initial public
offering last week after being hit with a
patent infringement lawsuit
from New York-based CertCo. Since then, it
has filed updated SEC documents denying its technology infringed on CertCo’s
patent.


Then, new
disclosures surfaced
that banking regulators in Louisiana are ordering
the service to stop brokering payments between online buyers and sellers
there until the company receives a state money transmission license. Other
states have expressed similar concerns.


PayPal, of course, gets a little piece of each transaction, so any state
actions are direct threats to its revenue stream.


Venture capital firms that have invested in PayPal include Sequoia Capital,
Nokia Ventures L.P., Clearstone Venture Partners and Madison Dearborn
Partners.

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