LegalZoom (PRIVATE:LEGALZOOM), a platform for creating legal documents, went public just after noon on Wednesday. It’s been a long road to an IPO for the company, which was founded back in 2001 and already made an attempt to go public in 2012. But if its initial performance is anything to go by, the company’s patience paid off.
LegalZoom made its public debut on the Nasdaq under the ticker LZ, and while shares were expected to start at $28, its stock jumped 38% in the first minutes of trading, making LegalZoom worth $7 billion upon debuting. Before the IPO, the company was only expected to hit a $5 billion valuation with 19.1 million shares available, making its first half hour on the Nasdaq a stellar one.
The company’s beginnings date back to 2001, when its founders were seeking funding for a startup that makes it easy to create legal documents online. Brian Lee, who also co-founded ShoeDazzle.com and The Honest Company, reached out to former OJ Simpson attorney Robert Shapiro to lend some legal credibility to the company. Shapiro agreed to be a co-founder, giving the company a head start in getting off the ground. The past two decades have been relatively quiet for LegalZoom, but the past year proved to create opportunity for the company to grow its ranks.
According to our data, LegalZoom currently has 95 open job listings, a 265% increase from this time last year. The company stepped up hiring last December, with more job listings than it had pre-pandemic, a level it’s sustained ever since.
Our LinkedIn headcount data shows that LegalZoom has 975 employees, and has been growing steadily since the pandemic set in. Its current headcount is a 19% increase from this time last year.
This isn’t the first time LegalZoom has made plans for an IPO. In May 2012, LegalZoom attempted to go public on the NYSE, but pulled the IPO before it could go through. The company then sold a stake to private equity firm Permira, which now holds a majority stake.
A few more key players stand to gain from the debut, including investment firms BlackRock and Neuberger, which have both agreed to buy $75 million worth of shares. Another investment firm, TCV, has agreed to $90 million worth of shares. Considering how quickly the company added $2.5 billion to its valuation, the firms’ shares are likely worth much more.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online, jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings, and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.