Sweetgreen's IPO Is Done: Salad Slinger's Shares Pop 76% in First Day on the NYSE

Harri Weber

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to harrison@dot.la.

Sweetgreen's IPO Is Done: Salad Slinger's Shares Pop 76% in First Day on the NYSE

Investors tucked away Sweetgreen shares by the forkful on Thursday, driving the price of the salad chain's stock up more than 76% to a closing price of $49.50 per share.

The Culver City company raised $364 million in its New York Stock Exchange debut, selling 13 million shares at $28 a pop. Originally, the company had targeted a price per share of $25 at the high end.


Following the debut, the stock soared as high as $56.20 per share during regular trading, despite the company's dearth of profits.

Shortly after the IPO, Sweetgreen CEO Jonathan Neman said the company's mission is "to transform fast food and make it healthy." However, critics have called Neman's views on health fatphobic. The executive came under fire recently after claiming "no vaccine nor mask will save us" in a since-deleted LinkedIn post, which ultimately argued that what Americans should do is eat the kind of food that Sweetgreen sells.

But for a salad business, Sweetgreen also looks a lot like a tech company. Ahead of the IPO, the company described itself as a "digital platform," a "multi-channel restaurant ecosystem," and even a content creator — all phrases more evocative of Silicon Valley than a salad bar.

Trading under the symbol SG, Sweetgreen aims to double in size over the next five years. Pandemic lockdowns hammered the company last year, leading to significant layoffs at its L.A. headquarters. However, sales rebounded in the runup to the chain's IPO.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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