Online bookmaker and spread betting broker Betfair has successfully floated on the London Stock Exchange, at a market cap of £1.4bn after early optimism amongst industry analysts and speculators alike drove prices skyward on its launch last week.

The transaction has seen Betfair offer up a substantial proportion of its equity, previously held by founders Andrew Black and Edward Wray, who collectively retained a 20% holding and sold separate stakes for around £15m each in the offering.

It is thought that the transition into public ownership will help Betfair capitalize on its profitable spread betting platform, which has been instrumental in changing the face of spread betting online.

Focusing on providing competitive odds and a diverse range of services to clients across gambling and financial markets, Betfair has grown to become one of the major players in online gambling over the last decade, and its financial betting operation is a considerable player in the growing market for spread betting and online trading.

It is thought that the valuation will render Betfair eligible for inclusion in the FTSE 250 index, along with the UK’s other 250 largest companies by market cap, and its floatation has been seen as a much needed morale boost for the UK markets, at a time where business and market confidence remains suppressed.