The opening price of $24 puts the company's market capitalization at about $33 billion, about the size of Marriot and Target. Twitter's market cap is about 11 billion, while Facebook's is about $395 billion.
The young ephemeral photo messaging company posted a $515 million loss last year. At least a few Wall Street analysts reacted skeptically to the offering, issuing "sell" ratings on the stock.
Nonetheless, investors have bet on its quickly growing revenue and visionary leader, 26-year-old co-founder CEO Evan Spiegel. Spiegel arrived at the stock exchange on Thursday morning to ring the opening bell, with supermodel fiancee Miranda Kerr in tow, documenting with pictures on the app.
The Venice, California-based company, which serves augmented reality and cinematic advertisements to its young adult audience, could be a bellwether as other start-up giants, such as Airbnb and Uber, mull a public offering. The IPO was 12 times oversubscribed, sources said.
Snap enters the public market a day after the three major U.S. stock indexes posted their best session of the year. About $5 billion changed hands in Snap stock – that's roughly on par with what Twitter saw on its first day. However, that's much less than the $23 billion that changed hands in Facebook and the $25 billion that changed hands in Alibaba on their first day of trading.
Here's how the company stacks up so far to other big techIPOs, according to CNBC analysis of data from FactSet and Renaissance:
- Facebook went public on May 18, 2012, priced at $38 per share. It gained only 0.61 percent in its debut closing at $38.23.
-Deal Size: Almost $16 billion
- Twitter went public on Nov. 7, 2013, priced at $26 per share. It gained 72.69 percent in its debut closing at $44.90.
-Deal Size $1.82 billion (shares used to calculate do not contain the overallotment)
- Alibaba went public on Sept. 19, 2014, and priced at $68 per share. It gained 38.07 percent in its debut closing at $93.89.
-Deal Size $21.77 billion (not including overallotment or green shoe)
- LinkedIn went public on May 19, 2011, and priced at $45 per share. It doubled in its debut, gaining 109.44 percent to close at $94.25.
-Deal size $352.8 million
— CNBC's Leslie Picker, David Faber, Robert Hum Fred Imbert and Gina Francolla contributed to this report.