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Personal finance firm NerdWallet valued at $1.5 billion in strong market debut By Reuters

Personal finance firm NerdWallet valued at $1.5 billion in strong market debut © Reuters.

(Reuters) -NerdWallet Inc’s shares rose nearly 31% in their stock market debut valuing the company at about $1.5 billion, as the firm joined a clutch of companies that have gone public to cash in on the high investor appetite for tech stocks.

San Francisco, California-based NerdWallet’s shares opened at $23.5. It sold 7.25 million shares at $18 a piece, the midpoint of the price range announced earlier, raising $130.5 million.

NerdWallet, co-founded in 2009 by former hedge fund executive Tim Chen and former J.P. Morgan trader Jake Gibson, provides financial guidance to users on credit cards, loans, mortgages and other financial products.

Chen was inspired to create a company that simplified everyday financial decisions, when he couldn’t find the answer on the internet to his sister’s question about which credit card was the most suitable for an expatriate living in Australia.

A flurry of financial technology companies have made their market debuts this year including buy-now-pay-later firm Affirm Holdings Inc, online brokerage Robinhood Markets Inc (NASDAQ:HOOD) and cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) Global Inc.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), BofA Securities, KeyBanc Capital Markets, Barclays (LON:BARC) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) are among the joint bookrunners for NerdWallet’s offering.