Phreesia has strong public debut as 2nd digital health IPO in 2019

Healthcare software company Phreesia closed its first day of trading as a public company Thursday about 40% above its set price.

New York City-based Phreesia opened up on the New York Stock Exchange at $26.75 after being originally priced at $18 per share. The stock climbed as much as 53% above its offering price, according to Bloomberg.

Phreesia trades under the ticker symbol "PHR." JPMorgan, Wells Fargo Securities, William Blair, Allen & Company and Piper Jaffray acted as lead managers on the deal.

"We’re in the early innings of this industry and we think it's a huge opportunity," Phreesia CEO and co-founder Chaim Indig told FierceHealthcare Thursday. Indig, flanked by his team, rang the New York Stock Exchange’s opening bell at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

After 14 years in the market, Indig said Phreesia's executive and board leadership thought the time was right to enter the public market. "It's an opportunity to grow our company and continue to operate on our mission of improving the healthcare experience for patients, providers, and staff."

RELATED: Healthcare software company Phreesia preparing for $125M IPO

The company, founded in 2005, develops a patient intake management platform to automate the patient check-in process or what Indig calls the "digital front door" to the healthcare experience.

The company focuses on improving the patient intake process by getting rid of the traditional clipboard of forms patients must fill out. Phreesia initially focused on hardware such as tablets for patient check-ins and has expanded to software and mobile tools to automate appointment scheduling, insurance verification, collecting copays and balances and mobile apps for at-home patient check-in.

Indig said the evolution of the company's products and services to mobile platforms is changing how people interact with the healthcare system. "We're proud to be defining that patient intake market. It's something that I spent 14 years, along with Evan (Roberts, co-founder and chief operating officer), developing and we look forward to doing it years into the future."

Phreesia filed a preliminary prospectus June 21 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a $125 million initial public offering. The company raised $167 million by offering 9.3 million shares at $18, according to an SEC document the company filed July 17.

Indig said Phreesia's debut on the public market is a "cool milestone on a long journey," and company leaders plan to expand the business as a public company.

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In fiscal year 2019, Phreesia facilitated more than 70 million patient visits for approximately 50,000 individual providers in nearly 1,600 healthcare provider organizations across all 50 states, according to the company in its SEC filing.

Phreesia processed more than $1.4 billion in patient payments in fiscal 2019, the company said in the filing.

The company has experienced strong organic revenue growth over the last two fiscal years, generating almost $100 million in revenue in fiscal 2019, up 25% from its fiscal 2018 revenue of $79.8 million, according to the SEC filing.

For the three months ended April 30, 2018, and April 30, 2019, revenue was $23.9 million and $28.3 million, respectively.

The company also recorded a profit in its most recent fiscal year. Adjusted EBITDA increased from a loss of $4.1 million in fiscal 2018 to income of $3.5 million in fiscal 2019. For the three months ended April 30, 2018, and April 30, 2019, the company's adjusted EBITDA was $1 million and a loss of $300,000, respectively, according to the filing.

The news of Phreesia's IPO plans along with other digital health companies Livongo, Change Healthcare and Health Catalyst signaled the end of what many market analysts considered a three-year drought of new digital health public offerings. 

Indig said he hoped Phreesia's public debut would "blaze a trail" for other companies. "I think the market needs more digital innovation in healthcare. I’m excited about more digital health IPOs, and I wish those companies the best of luck," he said.

Health IT company Change Healthcare began trading on the Nasdaq exchange under the trading symbol "CHNG" June 17.