Tech

Snowflake more than doubles in market debut, largest ever software IPO

Key Points
  • Snowflake began trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Stock began trading at $245 per share, before being briefly halted due to volatility.
  • The cloud software company was worth $67.94 billion at its opening price, more than five times its $12.4 billion valuation in February.
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Snowflake begins trading in the biggest software IPO ever

Cloud company Snowflake shares surged more than 111% in its market debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday in the largest ever software IPO. 

The stock began trading at $245 per share and closed at $253.93. A day earlier, Snowflake priced shares at $120, higher than the $100 to $110 range it estimated on Monday, and a huge bump from the $75 to $85 range it proposed last week. 

Snowflake was worth $70.4 billion at the end of trading, more than five times its $12.4 billion valuation in February.

"A stock is worth exactly what somebody wants to pay for it," CEO Frank Slootman told CNBC just after the stock began trading. "It's like talking about the weather, it is what it is. Tomorrow's another day, we'll see what it brings."

The company raised more $3 billion based on its opening price, the most ever for a software company. The stock trades under the symbol SNOW.

Investors had anticipated a blockbuster opening for the company, which is generating over $500 million in annualized revenue and grew over 130% in the first half of 2020. The stock received a vote of confidence last week, when Snowflake revealed in a filing that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and Salesforce each agreed to buy $250 million of stock at the IPO price in a concurrent private placement. Berkshire Hathaway also agreed to buy 4.04 million shares in a secondary transaction.

Snowflake is growing alongside the major public cloud vendors by providing technology that allows clients to quickly analyze and share vast amounts of data and increase capacity as needed, rather than relying on databases that are tied to hardware. It's the first of several technology companies to go public this week in one of the busiest stretches of the year, despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Snowflake ranked No. 40 on the 2020 CNBC Disruptor 50 list.

—CNBC's Jordan Novet and Ari Levy contributed to this report. 

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Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman on the importance of data during the coronavirus outbreak