Despite big competitive challenges, Japanese messaging app Line saw its stock soar almost 50 percent today in its first day of trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
The debut was part two of a dual stock offering for the company. Yesterday, Line’s shares started trading on the New York Stock Exchange, where it closed at $41.58 — up sharply from the IPO price of $33.
Overall, that would give the company a valuation of $9.3 billion, according to Reuters. In a year of lackluster tech IPOs, Line stands to be one of the biggest of the year.
Still, while the company has 218 million monthly active users and its revenues increased 28 percent last year, it lags far behind market leader WhatsApp, which has 1 billion MAUs. Facebook Messenger is just behind that, with 900 million MAUs.
Line is no doubt hoping that this splashy debut will raise its recognition with users around the world, along with bringing in the cash to help it compete against its bigger rivals.