Robinhood  (HOOD) - Get Robinhood Report shares finished lower Thursday in a difficult opening session for the popular, yet controversial, online trading app.

Robinhood sold 55 million shares at $38 each,the lower end of its $38 to $42 target late Wednesday, raising $2.1 billion and valuing the group -- and its 21.3 million monthly active users -- at around $31.8 billion.

After opening at $38 Thursday, Robinhood shares fell as much as 11% before rebounding to finish off $3.18, or 8.4%, at $34.82.

The pricing valued Robinhood at around 15 times its 2021 revenue "run rate", which is based on a first quarter tally of $522 million. However, given that active users have risen 83% since the end of December, investors could expect to see faster revenue growth, and possibly a higher multiple, in the months to come.

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“I met (co-founder and CEO) Vlad Tenev seven years ago, and my hope was, at the time, that a whole generation of new people would discover this amazing world of ours," said TheStreet's founder, Jim Cramer. "What he's done is to truly democratize trading; when you lower fees, and have a good app … I think it’s pure joy. He’s made a huge number of a people a lot of money.”

Regardless of today's debut, the IPO is an astonishing success for co-founders Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, former Stanford University roommates who developed a platform idea in 2013 that has captured both the current retail trading zeitgeist while luring one of the most valuable properties away from Wall Street giants: young investors.

Each sold around $50 million worth of shares in the group they founded, and will retain around 65% of the voting rights of the listed company. 

Robinhood said it generated $959 million in revenues last year, a 245% increase from 2019, and noted it has 17.7 million active users on the platform with aggregate assets of around $81 billion.