Online mortgage lender Better.com had a disastrous debut on the Nasdaq, with its shares plummeting as much as 95% on its first day of trading. The stock fell so rapidly that trading had to be halted four times in the first 30 minutes. This follows previous controversy surrounding the company, as CEO Vishal Garg notoriously laid off 900 employees via a Zoom call earlier this year, accusing some of the laid-off staff of stealing from the company.
Better.com’s struggles on the Nasdaq are a sharp contrast to its previous growth during the pandemic, when it benefited from a hot housing market and low interest rates. However, the company recorded a net loss of $89.9 million in the first quarter of this year due to falling demand for mortgages amid rising interest rates. The stock closed at $1.15 per share, a 93.4% decrease from its opening price.
Garg, who has faced significant backlash for his handling of the mass layoffs, claimed to have undergone extensive leadership training and expressed a commitment to being a kinder boss. Better.com’s plans to go public were initially delayed due to regulatory scrutiny and the controversy surrounding the layoffs. The company has not yet commented on its stock’s poor performance on the Nasdaq.