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Wix CEO talks today's IPO

November 6, 2013: 12:53 PM ET

wix logoWix, a company that helps individuals and small businesses build websites, goes public.

FORTUNE -- Wix (WIX), an Israeli company that helps users build HTML5 websites, today began trading on the NASDAQ after raising $127 million in its IPO.

The company priced 7.7 million shares at $16.50 per share (high end of $14.50-$16.50 range), for an initial market cap of around $601 million. It had raised  around $61 million in VC funding from Mangrove Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Benchmark, Insight Venture Partners and DAG Ventures.

J.P. Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch and RBC Capital Markets served as lead underwriters.

We spent a few minutes on the phone with Wix CEO Avishai Abrahami, and what follows is an edited transcript on our conversation:

FORTUNE: Why did you choose to go public now?

AVISHAI ABRAHAMI: We see a great potential in the ability of our company to grow even further. Wix currently sells to more than 40 million users, and the growth potential is huge, particularly in trying to penetrate globally into more regions. The decision was to raise money now so that we could continue to improve R&D and to invest more in marketing to pursue those other users.

Wix lost $17 million on revenue of $55 million over the first nine months of 2013. Is profitability important to you?

Not at this stage, no. Our business model involves investing a lot of money right now on marketing, and our returns on marketing lag four to five months. And so long as our growth keep growing at this rate, we plan to invest more in marketing so profitability will come eventually, but not yet. Our main goal right now is to increase revenue and the funnel of users -- making sure that many, many small businesses can use our platform to bring their visions online.

Why did you pick to list on the NASDAQ over the NYSE?

There isn't too much of a difference, and would have been happy with either. Perhaps NASDAQ is a better fit for us as a medium/small cap company, but we probably could have done the same on NYSE.

Your stock price jumped to nearly $19 per share on the open, but is back down just a hair over where you priced. Been watching it?

Not at all. We'd obviously like it to finish up on the first day, particularly for our investors, but we are looking at the long-term.

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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