Jan. 24 --The long-awaited initial public offering of Boston -based Care.com shows that consumer-oriented startups can find success locally and offers a boost to other such companies in the region, experts said. "I think it's a fantastic example of how to build great Internet companies here in Boston ," said investor and entrepreneur Andy Palmer . "It validates that it is not only possible, but advantageous to do consumer Internet companies here in Boston ." Founded in 2006 and launched in 2007, Care.com helps people find caregivers for kids, seniors and pets. Available in the U.S., Canada and much of Europe , Care.com , which is headquartered in Waltham , has more than 9.5 million members, the company says, and has 350 full-time employees. "We don't have a lot of consumer companies that have seen these kind of companies," said Sarah Hodges , founder of entrepreneur training firm, Intelligent.ly. The last venture-funded company to go public in Boston was automotive software firm Exa Corp. in June 2012 . IPO tracker Renaissance Capital said Care.com is "joining a group of strong performing, category leading Internet properties." Palmer said a big public company can be a pillar for other startups. "It gives people confidence that if they do a startup and it doesn't work out that they can go work for a larger public company that is still cutting-edge cool -- this is what Google , Yahoo !, Cisco , LinkedIN , Oracle provide out in Silicon valley," Palmer said. The company priced shares at $17 last night, above the expected range of $14 to $16 per share. Care.com is expected to raise more than $90 million . A spokeswoman for Care.com declined comment, citing an SEC mandated quiet period for IPOs. ___ (c)2014 the Boston Herald Visit the Boston Herald at www.bostonherald.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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