GoHealth’s shares dip after upsized IPO

On the heels of nCino’s blockbuster debut, GoHealth’s public offering proved a more sedate affair, at least when comparing the two companies’ initial trading days.

GoHealth priced above its anticipated IPO range, selling more shares than initially planned in the process. By vending 43.5 million shares at $21 apiece — $1 per share more than the top of its preceding $18 to $20 range, and four million shares more than its target of 39.5 million — the insurance technology company put more than $900 million onto its balance sheet this week.

The debut is a win for Chicago’s industry and tech scenes. GoHealth was worth a little less than $6.7 billion at its IPO price, not counting shares that may be sold to its underwriters, which would boost its valuation.

Despite its better-than-anticipated pricing, however, GoHealth shares sagged in afternoon trading, slipping to $19.00 per share, down 9.5% as of the time of writing. The declines stand in contrast to the recent debuts of nCino, Lemonade and others, which saw their shares instantly gain value after going public.

GoHealth’s CEO, however, stressed the long-term vision of his company in an interview with TechCrunch. Speaking with Clint Jones during GoHealth’s first trading day, the executive told TechCrunch that his company’s offering was oversubscribed, and had met its goal of accumulating long-term investors during its IPO process.

The company intends to hire with its new funds, including 1,000 more licensed insurance agents, the CEO said.

Asked whether the company has plans to acquire smaller companies with its IPO funds, Jones told TechCrunch that it could be “opportunistic” regarding buying tech platforms, or smaller teams with particular talent. For the many startups competing in other parts of the insurance marketplace world — TechCrunch has covered the space extensively, including a bevy of funding rounds for insurtech startups — a newly wealthy public company could provide an interesting exit opportunity.

The company’s strong IPO pricing, if somewhat slack first-day’s trading, feels akin to a wash for related, smaller firms watching its public offering with interest; how GoHealth trades moving forward could help set the tone for select insurtech startup valuations.

For today, however, we have yet another unicorn tech-ish offering all wrapped up. GoHealth’s path to the public market’s wasn’t as straightforward as some, but it got there all the same.

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