China's English learning platform LAIX makes NYSE debut

NEW YORK, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- LAIX Inc., a Chinese English learning platform driven by artificial intelligence (AI) technology, rang the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) opening bell on Thursday in celebration of its initial public offering (IPO), trading under the ticker symbol of "LAIX."

LAIX priced its initial public offering of 5,750,000 American depositary shares (ADSs) at 12.50 U.S. dollars per ADS for a total offering size of roughly 71.9 million dollars, assuming the underwriters do not exercise their over-allotment option to purchase additional ADSs.

In addition, the company has granted the underwriters an over-allotment option, exercisable within 30 days subsequent to the date of the final prospectus, to purchase up to an additional 862,500 ADSs at the initial public offering price per ADS.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C are acting as joint bookrunners of this offering and as the representatives of the underwriters.

Shares of LAIX started trading at 16.00 dollars per share, up 28 percent from its IPO price, and traded at 13.67 dollars per share around midday.

LAIX said that the proceeds from the IPO will mainly be used for research and development, selling and marketing, as well as the balance for general corporate purpose.

"Listing on the NYSE will make LAIX a more international company, which can help us attract customers all over the world, as we believe our English learning platform driven by AI not only can serve Chinese English learners, but also can help English learners in other countries," Yi Wang, chairman and chief executive office of LAIX told Xinhua after the opening bell.

Founded in 2013, LAIX is an artificial intelligence company in China that creates and delivers products and services to popularize English learning. As of June 30, 2018, the company had 83.8 million cumulative registered users in China and globally, according to the prospectus.

The Shanghai-based Chinese company posted revenues of 35.1 million dollars in the first half of 2018, with a net loss of 27.5 million dollars in the same period, said the prospectus.