Consumer-reviews site Angie's List Inc. saw it stock grow by 25 percent on its first day of trading Thursday, showing ongoing investor appetite for Internet companies.
The company's public debut came the same day that another reviews site _ San Francisco-based Yelp Inc. _ filed for an initial public offering of stock.
Founded by Angie Hicks in 1995, Angie's List runs reviews of dentists, doctors, veterinarians, gardeners, plumbers and other businesses offering local services.
On Wednesday, Angie's List priced its offering of 8.8 million shares at $13 each _ at the top of the range it had expected. It follows big IPOs by LinkedIn Corp. and Groupon Inc. this year. And it precedes the public debut of online game company Zynga Inc., which is expected before the end of the year.
Unlike Yelp, Angie's List charges consumers a monthly fee, betting that people will want to pay for the assurance that the reviews are trustworthy. The company bans anonymous reviews and doesn't let businesses pay for good ratings. It says it has more than 1 million paid memberships.
How much users pay to access Angie's List depends on what types of ratings they want to see and for how long. There are ratings for home, pet and car services, for example, and for wellness businesses, including medical and dental practices. A combined wellness and services bundle costs $5.20 a month. But it goes down to $2.67 per month if you sign up for four years for $128.
The Indianapolis-based company had revenue of $59 million in 2010 and $62.6 million in the first nine months of this year. It says it lost $27.2 million for 2010 and $43.2 million for the first nine months of 2011, largely because it is spending a lot on marketing to attract new users.
Angie's List plans to use the proceeds from the offering, which it announced in August, for advertising and general corporate purposes. Angie's List said it plans to continue aggressively investing in advertising, particularly in New York and Los Angeles. It has also said it is expanding into new categories.
The stock is trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market with the ticker symbol "ANGI."
The stock rose $3.26 to close at $16.26 on Thursday, valuing Angie's List at about $904 million. It opened at $18 and traded in the range of $15.02 and $18.75 during the day.