IPO Party

Shutterstock, New York City’s First Tech IPO in Years, Goes Swimmingly

Looks like the enterprise shall inherit the Earth, after all.
 Shutterstock, New York Citys First Tech IPO in Years, Goes Swimmingly

Mr. Oringer. (Photo: Twitter)

Yesterday was the first IPO of a New York-based tech company since May’s Facebook fiasco. In fact, it was the first IPO of a New York-based tech company since 2010, says Bloomberg News. Stepping up to try her luck: stock photo marketplace Shutterstock, which debuted on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker SSTK. Jitters notwithstanding, things seem to have gone respectably well.

Businessweek reports that the company sold 4.5 million shares at $17 a pop, giving the company a market cap of $558.3 million, and they closed up 27 percent, at $21.66.

When Betabeat spoke to founder and CEO Jon Oringer, he sounded pleased as punch. “Everyone at Shutterstock is very excited. I’m excited. It all worked out great,” he said.

In its nine-year history, Shutterstock has sold a whopping 250 million images. Last year it made $120 million in revenue and paid out $30 million to its 35,000 contributors. The company, which has 250 employees, now sells two images every second. 

“It allows us to continue to be the great company we are already,” Mr. Oringer cheerfully chirped of the public offering. Getting a little more illuminating, he added that the company had been profitable for years, and added, “It’s an added flexibility. It’s an extra thing that’s going to help us move along.”

“Having the currency, having the strong balance sheet, reaching a status where we can walk into really, really big companies and say, ‘we’re going to be around for a long time,’ will help us,” he said.

Perhaps that’s why Mr. Oringer hadn’t let the Facebook face plant worry him–or so he told us, saying, “I started this nine years ago. I’m thinking about the next nine years.” He denied that the controversy over NASDAQ’s handling of Facebook had influenced the Shutterstock team’s decision-making process. Rather, the New York Stock Exchange had simply been the best fit.

“We met with their team, we liked their team, we saw their technology, we liked their technology, they’re right next door,” he said.

But we couldn’t help but wonder whether someone might be enjoying a bit of enterprise schadenfreude when Mr. Oringer added, “We sell a business product, we sell a commercial product to other businesses. Businesses are not just going to stop needing images.” That’s the Shutterstock pitch, in essence: The increasing rate at which we consume content on mobile devices means the demand for digital images is only increasing.

Now, Shutterstock has its eye trained on video. “We’re going to be there to serve this larger and larger demand,” promised Mr. Oringer.  Video currently only accounts for a few million out of Shutterstock’s revenues–which totalled $120 million in 2011–but “it’s early days.” He cited the example of a Miami real estate agency that, in search of a competitive advertising advantage, considered hiring a helicopter to shoot the South Beach skyline. That would have cost thousands. Instead, they used Shutterstock, which set them back a mere $50.

Next week, he’ll be stopping by the New York Stock Exchange to ring the bell. It’ll be a short trip, as the company’s offices are just down the block on Broad Street.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com