From Dad’s Office to Wall Street, CT Company Raises $ 594 Million on Day One on NYSE


More than 10 million Datto shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange in just over an hour on Wednesday, as investors seized their first opportunity to own part of the company fastest growing digital technology in Connecticut over the past decade.

Datto backs up the data and files of small businesses that sign up through office technology integration companies, the company being based in Norwalk since its launch in 2007 by founder and board member Austin McChord.

Datto shares soared $ 5 above their $ 27 initial public offering price after the morning bell then settled to trade at around $ 28 by mid-afternoon. Security software giant McAfee was due to price its own IPO later today Wednesday.

Passers-by outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York on October 21, 2020, when Datto executives rang the opening bell to commemorate the initial public offering of shares of the Norwalk, Connecticut-based data backup provider . (Photo by the New York Stock Exchange courtesy of Datto)

Nicole Pereira / NYSE

McChord joined CEO Tim Weller on Wall Street on Wednesday morning to ring the opening bell for the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were first traded under the ticker symbol “MSP”, an acronym for “Managed Service Provider” intermediaries through which Datto offers data backup.

McChord reflected on the business arc on Wednesday, from days spent in the offices of his father’s civil engineering firm in Wilton to today, as Datto employees continue to return to his Norwalk headquarters in the Merritt 7 Corporate Park. He said more will follow, both homebound Datto workers as well as new hires now that the company has easy access to government markets. Datto plans to use a large chunk of the $ 594 million in gross IPO proceeds to pay off debt.

Datto Headquarters in October 2020 at 101 Merritt 7 in Norwalk, Connecticut.  The company held its initial public offering on October 21, with shares trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the "MSP" stock symbol.

Datto Headquarters in October 2020 at 101 Merritt 7 in Norwalk, Connecticut. The company held its initial public offering on October 21, with the shares trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “MSP”.

Erik Trautmann / Hearst Connecticut Media

“It’s been a whole series of starting lines – at first for me it was ‘Oh man, what’s that first day like in a real office?’,” McChord said in a Zoom interview Wednesday, speaking from the New York Stock Exchange. “Then we had the starting line, ‘What is it like to work in a venture-funded company?’ It is a lot of “days” in this sense. Today, this is the biggest starting line that exists, as Datto now trades on the Big Board. “

Datto now has 1,600 employees across Norwalk, New York, Boston and Rochester, NY, among others. McChord has offered no projections for the company’s hiring plans – he lists 100 openings today, half of which at Norwalk – but suggested Connecticut would remain the focus of its staffing plans after the introduction. in stock exchange. He said many Datto employees continue to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the company aims to return to more normal operations while providing flexibility for employees who so desire.

“I would see us as an aggressive recruiter in Connecticut. … There is incredible talent in Connecticut and we have an incredible team who know where to look and how to find them, ”said McChord. “There is a huge desire for people to go back to the office and be together. It’s a tight-knit team and to have space to be together – whether it’s celebrating or having a meeting or brainstorming or designing and building – we’re going to need the space to do that in the future.

The additions are needed as more and more small businesses look for a sophisticated backup provider beyond Google Drive, iCloud and other platforms, whether to guard against unforeseen disruptions like massive power outages. in August, or more nefarious issues like ransomware attacks in which hackers gain access to information systems and lock down key data. In October, the firm that provides statistics for use by DraftKings, FanDuel and other fantasy football sites.

“Cyber ​​attacks have increased throughout 2020 – it’s not like hackers have decided to stay home and not hack [systems]”McChord said.” This has fueled Datto’s continued growth. “

McChord well remembers Datto’s own splash in the national headlines regarding a hacking affair, after the 2016 presidential election, when Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the White House was derailed after revelations about his use of computer hacking. ‘a personal mail server. As part of its investigation, the FBI obtained thousands of Clinton emails that had been saved on Datto’s servers.

“If anything, the original event galvanized us,” McChord said. “Our product did exactly what it was supposed to do.”

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