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Updated from 1:02 p.m. EDT


(OPEN:Nasdaq) became the latest company to have its initial public offering price above its expected range, and its shares were surging in their debut Thursday.

The San Francisco-based restaurant reservation Web site raised $60 million on Wednesday by offering 3 million shares at $20 each. OpenTable offered about 1.57 million shares of common stock, and selling stockholders offered the remaining 1.42 million shares.

Shares rose as high as $35.50 earlier in the session before finishing up 59.5% at $31.89.

The IPO is significant for a handful of reasons. For one, shares priced 18% above the midpoint of the expected range of $16 to $18 a share. What makes that all the more impressive is that OpenTable originally had expected shares to price between $12 and $14 a share before it increased the expected range on Tuesday.

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OpenTable also becomes the second venture capital-backed company to go public this week. On Wednesday,


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, a network management software provider backed by Bain Capital, Insight Ventures and Austin Ventures, debuted after its IPO priced at $12.50 a share, above the expected range of $9.50 to $11.50 a share.

SolarWinds enjoyed a first-day return of 10%

, as shares closed Wednesday at $13.75.

Like SolarWinds, OpenTable has been backed by venture capital money. Its investors include Benchmark Capital, whose past investments include


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. Impact Venture Partners and Integral Capital Partners are also investors in the Internet company.

SolarWinds and OpenTable are the first successful venture capital-backed launches since

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priced its shares in August 2008, a welcome sign for smaller businesses hoping that markets are freeing up, which would provide better access to capital.

By pricing above its expected range, OpenTable also becomes the fourth IPO to do so in the last year, joining SolarWinds. Earlier this month,



raised $279 million after offering 14.7 million shares at $19 a share, above its expected range of $16 to $18 a share.

In April,

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, the language learning software provider, sold 6.25 million shares at $18 a share, above its proposed range of $15 to $17 a share.

Also much like SolarWinds, OpenTable has enjoyed steady revenue growth over the last year. OpenTable said revenue rose 35.7% in 2008 to $55.8 million, as the number of installed restaurants in its network jumped 31.5% to 10,335. About 9,300 of those restaurants are located in North America.

However, OpenTable swung to a net loss of $1.02 million in 2008, compared with a net profit of $9.21 million in 2007. The loss came due to increased expenses tallied from its expansion into Europe, while the year-ago results benefited from large tax gain.