An employee sits on a pane of glass with the logo of the London Stock Exchange Group Plc in their office in London, United Kingdom on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg via Getty Images

LONDON – Shares in online card dealer Moonpig rose 25% within minutes of its IPO pricing on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

The London-based company traded at £ 3.50 ($ 4.79), but the stock rose to £ 4.40 less than an hour after it started trading.

The listing price valued the company, which was quoted under the ticker “MOON”, at around GBP 1.2 billion (USD 1.6 billion). In contrast, competitor Card Factory has a market capitalization of £ 118 million.

Moonpig is the UK’s second largest public listing this year after shoe and clothing retailer Dr. Martens, who went public last week with a value of £ 3.7 billion.

Nickyl Raithatha, CEO of Moonpig, said in a statement: “As market leaders increasingly moving to online, now is the perfect time for us to bring the company to the public market and we are excited about Moonpig’s future prospects. “”

Peel Hunt analysts Jonathan Pritchard and John Stevenson said in a note that “while the float price is above the original range, it is still undervalued this high-growth market leader”.

They added, “There is the potential to increase customer numbers and increase AOV (Average Order Value) – especially through gift attachment. The data science and technology behind the scenes is impressive.”

Moonpig is the UK’s first tech IPO of the year, but there are a number of other companies preparing to go public.

Grocery delivery service Deliveroo is reportedly planning to list a list valued at between $ 8 billion and $ 13 billion in April, while money exchange app Transferwise may also go public. Elsewhere, cybersecurity firm Darktrace and pension pot provider Pension Bee are also looking into potential listings.

Many of the UK’s largest tech companies have traditionally chosen to list on the tech-driven Nasdaq market or on the New York Stock Exchange in the United States. However, the London Stock Exchange has been trying to convince them to list at home in recent years.

Neil Shah, a tech specialist on the London Stock Exchange, told CNBC, “The pipeline for tech IPOs in London in 2021 is very strong. More tech floats are expected in the first half of the year than in all of 2020.”

He added, “These companies will join over 180 London-listed tech and consumer Internet companies. London gives tech companies access to deep pools of global capital and a financial ecosystem that supports dynamic high-growth companies.”