e biggest tech IPO so far this year, soaring in its US market debut, and most Americans have never even heard of the company. Shares of Line, a Japanese mobile messaging app launched in 2011 to help people communicate after the earthquake and tsunami, jumping as much as 35% in New York on Thursday and closing up over 26%.
The stock launches in Tokyo Friday. Reuters tech correspondent Heather Somerville.>> I think Line is a deal that underscores this frenzy around messaging apps. There's a lot of demand from users, as well as investors, for these types of messaging services where you can send videos and pictures, make payments, do things of that nature.
DCM Ventures, which is a venture capital firm that invests both in the US and in China, has talked to me about they are hungry for messaging apps and new platforms they really wanna put their money into.>> Shares of Line, known for emojis and electronic stickers, which generate the bulk of it's revenue, priced a little under $33 a share, raising more than $1.3 billion for the company.
That's Japan's biggest offering of the year, and puts this IPO in a league of its own.>> In any year, 1.3 billion would be a big deal, but this year that has been so lackluster, so sleepy for tech IPOs, it really blows everything else out of the water.
The last one we had was Twilio, a very good, strong tech company. They raised 150 million in a strong IPO. Before that was SecureWorks, raised 112 million. So you can see, by comparison, this IPO is above and beyond anything we've seen this year.>> The decision to trade in New York and Tokyo offers a hint at Line's global ambitions.
The app has well over 200 million active users even though it's available in only a handful of countries, including the U.S., where it has yet to catch fire.