Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

Holy Oatly! Oat Milk Company's IPO Raises $1.4 Billion The world's largest oat milk company trades under ticker OTLY.

By Euni Han Edited by Emily Rella

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Bloomberg | Getty Images

Oatly went public on the Nasdaq stock exchange on Thursday, capitalizing on surging worldwide demand for its products.

Shares were initially priced at $17, putting the company's valuation near $10 billion. The stock rose to $21 once trading began, a 24% increase, and the Malmo, Sweden based company predicts more jumps ahead.

Oatly says 35% to 40% of adults in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Germany, China and Sweden bought plant-based milk alternatives in the past three months.

Related: How An Odd Macadamia Nut Milk Company Caught Walmart's Attention Without Doing Any Marketing

Worldwide sales of plant-based dairy substitutes in 2020 rose to $18 billion, according to Euromonitor.

But that's still only 3% of the $600 billion dairy market and as Oatly CEO Toni Petersson says, "The runway's massive."

Oat milk's growth is outpacing most competitors.

U.S. sales spiked 131% in the past year according to Nielsen --- while sales of soy milk, rice milk and coconut milk fell. Almond milk still has the largest sales among dairy alternatives but oat milk is popular for several reasons, says analyst Cara Rasch of market-research firm, Packaged Facts. Its mild and pleasant flavor makes it a perfect addition to coffees --- with fewer calories, less fat, less cholesterol and less sodium than cow's milk.

Related: How the Co-Founder of Oatly Is Shaking Up the Beverage Industry

Oat milk also takes less energy and land to produce, making it more environmentally friendly, according to a 2018 Oxford University study.

Oatly's presence is growing. The product is now on the shelves at Target, featured on the menu at Starbucks and available online at Alibaba in China.

Just last July the company sold a 10% stake for $200 million to a Blackstone investor group that included names like Oprah Winfrey, Actress Natalie Portman and Jay-Z's entertainment company, Roc Nation.

Related: Pour The Vegan Milk: Breakfast Cereals Pivot To Plant-Based, High-Protein, Low-Sugar Options

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

Apple Is Reportedly Saving the Most Anticipated Siri AI Upgrades For Next Year

AI is still due to debut on iPhones later this year, but it will be a longer wait for some other highly-anticipated features.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

How Much Does It Cost to Develop AI? The CEO of an $18 Billion AI Startup Reveals the Current Price.

There's a sky-high bar to creating AI, and an expert says it will get even more expensive.

Business News

Sam's Club Is Removing a Beloved Free Perk and Members Are Not Happy: 'No Benefits for the Cost'

Disgruntled Sam's Club members are complaining on social media about the new change, effective August 19.

Growing a Business

Why I Choose to Publicly Share My Startup's Business Data on LinkedIn — And Why You Should Do the Same.

Here's why I'm sharing my startup's business data on LinkedIn, what data specifically, and how it has benefited my startup – and could benefit your company, too.