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Shares soar on first day of trading for L.A. ad platform Rubicon

Online AdvertisingStock MarketFinancing and Stock OfferingsBusiness EnterprisesU.S. Securities and Exchange CommissionNYSE Euronext, Inc.

Perhaps the best ad for Los Angeles online advertising platform the Rubicon Project is that its shares shot up 37% on its first day of trading.

Rubicon on Wednesday began offering shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RUBI, opening at a price of $17.50 a share, 17% higher than its offering price of $15. 

The Playa Vista company sold nearly 6.8 million shares. Its IPO priced at $101.6 million, at the low end of expectations.

But shares quickly surged and were up 37% to $20.63 shortly after 10 a.m. PDT.

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Company executives were in New York to ring the opening bell. Afterward, founder and Chief Executive Frank Addante called it a "major milestone" for the 7-year-old firm, whose mission is to automate the buying and selling of advertising. 

"Our goal is to be the leader in that market; the IPO was just one of the steps in that goal but not the goal itself," he said. "Being a public company adds a level of transparency, but for us it's a pretty natural transition from being a private to a public company." 

With Rubicon's ad platform, Addante said the company wants to replace old-school telephone advertising.

In its S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Rubicon said that buyers of digital advertising "use our platform to reach 97% of Internet users in the United States and over 600 million Internet users globally on some of the world's leading websites and applications."

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