Four months after it announced plans to begin selling shares to the public, neighborhood-based social network Nextdoor finally made its stock market debut on Monday.
The company, which focuses on connecting users to other people living nearby them, went public via a merger with a special acquisition company, or SPAC. The deal valued Nextdoor at $4.3 billion. Shares began trading Monday morning for $11.60 but quickly jumped to more than $18. They eventually settled into the $15 range by mid day, but the price still represents significant gains for the company in its first hours of trading.
Nextdoor shares are trading under the ticker KIND.
A video the New York Stock Exchange posted to Twitter Monday morning showed Nextdoor leadership ringing bells to celebrate the company’s public debut.
— NYSE 🏛 (@NYSE) November 8, 2021
Nextdoor was founded in 2011 and is currently available in more than 275,000 neighborhoods across 11 countries in North America and Europe. The company has claimed that close to one in three U.S. households use the platform.
Unlike most other social networks, which broadcast content widely and tend to group people by interest, Nextdoor aims to foster a community of people who live in the same general neighborhood. Users have to physically verify their location via postcard in order to join, and the result is that Nextdoor’s content tends to focus on local issues such as infrastructure, community events, local politics, crime, schools and other issues.
Because Nextdoor focuses on real, physical communities, it has also long been a source of leads and clients for real estate professionals. The company provides dedicated marketing resources for agents, though many also simply focus on informal posting and conversation on the platform in order to build a name for themselves.
Nextdoor has also at various points partnered with dedicated real estate firms such as Tribus.
Such features have made Nextdoor popular, both among real estate professionals and the broader public, though some have also criticized the platform for fostering racism and other discriminatory behaviors. In other cases, popular social media accounts on other platforms have popped up to document drama that thrives among neighbors on the platform.
In any case, investors are apparently enthusiastic about the company. Nextdoor’s SPAC deal specifically involved merging with Khosla Ventures Acquisition Co. II, and the goal was to raise $686 million from going public.
In a video published to Twitter Monday morning announcing the debut of Nextdoor shares on the stock market, CEO Sarah Friar said the platform “evokes a sense of pride in your neighborhood.”
“And we know that people globally are craving for that,” Friar continued. “It often starts online but we know that it continues into he real world. And that is the superpower of Nextdoor.”