Shutterstock Inc soared 34 percent in its market debut, valuing the company at more than $700 million, as investors bet on strong demand for the company's stock images from multimedia customers, especially online.
Shutterstock, which has more than 35,000 approved image contributors, offers more than 20 million photographs and illustrations that customers can license and download through subscriptions.
Growing demand for online images has raised interest in companies that provide such services, with Carlyle Group LP snapping up Getty Images for $3.3 billion in August.
Shutterstock said in its IPO filing that a sponsored study showed that the market for pre-shot commercial digital photographs would grow by nearly 50 percent to $6 billion in 2016.
Investor interest in Shutterstock and its subscription-based model helped the company raise $76.5 million at $17 per share, 21 percent above the midpoint of the expected range.
"It's a well-established brand. It has a lot of users and half of its revenue comes from subscriptions," Francis Gaskins of IPO Desktop.com said. "It has a positive cash flow and top-line revenue is increasing."
The company, which recorded revenue of $78.1 million for the six months ended June 30, had more than 550,000 customers as of 2011, Shutterstock said.
Chief Executive Jonathan Oringer, who founded Shutterstock in 2003, will now hold about 57 percent of the company following the offering. Private equity and venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners will own 21 percent.
Shutterstock competes with other online providers of images such as iStockphoto, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Getty Images and Corbis Corp.
Shares of the company closed up 27 percent at $21.66 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.