Venice-Based Snap Inc. Makes New York Stock Exchange Debut

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Although Snap is going public at a much earlier stage in its development than Twitter or Facebook, the five-year-old company is valuing itself at almost 60 times revenue, more than double the 27 times revenue mark Facebook fetched in its IPO.

"It is not that common that you get to be the first investor in a company that debuts on the New York Stock Exchange at the value Snapchat did", Jeremy Liew, a partner at Lightspeed, told CNNTech on Thursday.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, has already said his is a camera company. Thursday also marked Snap Inc.'s first day as a publicly traded company.

For that early bet, Lasky and his firm are sitting on Snap shares worth $2.9 billion.

The Venice-based company's IPO raised $3.4 billion Wednesday, offering 200 million shares. Reuters and the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, said the Venice, Calif. company was selling 200 million shares for a valuation of almost $24 billion.

The book was more than 10 times oversubscribed and Snap could have priced the IPO at as much as US$19 a share, but the company wanted to focus on securing mutual funds as long-term investors rather than hedge funds looking to quickly sell, the source said. It's also the first tech company to list in the U.S. this year.

Snap argues its value is in the length of time its users spend on the app, as well as the revenue opportunities that will arise through the growing trend of young people using video to interact with each other instead of text.

The New York Stock Exchange carried out a trial run last week to make sure the third-biggest ever technology IPO goes smoothly. That means stockholders will have no sway over matters such as director nominations and executive compensation, and they won't be able to bring matters before the annual meeting.

Along with all his money, Spiegel and his co-founder will maintain control of the company.

The trading debut may benefit from good timing: United States equities set records on Wednesday on the heaviest trading volume so far this year.

The first-day jump may not be an indication of what happens to their fortunes from here. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 303 points to 21,115.