An electric scooter company just pulled off Russia’s only IPO of the year

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221214095309 whoosh scooters moscow russia file hp video An electric scooter company just pulled off Russia's only IPO of the year

CNN Business

An electric scooter service just became the only company to pull off an initial public offering in Russia this year.

Whoosh, which made its debut on Wednesday, said that it had raised 2.1 billion rubles ($32.6 million) through the listing, giving it a valuation of 20.6 billion rubles ($320 million).

“In four years, we have gone from a startup to the leader of the Russian [scooter sharing] market, making electric scooter travel a familiar mode of transport,” Whoosh CEO Dmitry Chuiko said in a statement.

But shares were priced on the low end of the company’s expected range. It raised less than half of what it had been aiming for earlier in the month.

The lone debut on the Moscow stock market in 2022, and the first since Russia invaded Ukraine, shows the difficult climate for Russian companies since international investors fled the country’s financial markets and the West slapped unprecedented sanctions on the country.

Hundreds of Western companies — from oil giants and tech brands to carmakers, banks and fast food chains — have quit Russia this year. McDonald’s is now called “Vkusno i tochka”, or “Tasty, and that’s it,” and Starbucks cafes have reopened under the barely disguised brand Stars Coffee.

The country’s main stock index is down 43% year-to-date, while US stocks are just 15% lower.

Last year, there were six IPOs in Russia, according to data from Dealogic.

Chuiko said that Whoosh was backed by leading Russian investment funds, which accounted for more than half of the total IPO volume, as well as more than 20,000 private investors.

As of the end of September, Whoosh had about 82,000 scooters in 40 cities across Russia and former Soviet states and 11.2 million registered users.

— Darya Tarasova contributed reporting.

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