Wall Street was buzzing with excitement on Thursday morning as Snap Inc. (SNAP - Get Report) , the parent company of the hit social app Snapchat, finally made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock officially opened at $24, up from an initial offering pricing of $17, giving it a valuation of about $33.4 billion.
Investors were excited to see a tech IPO after a bit of a dry spell, but remain concerned about the company's decelerating user growth and high costs.
Snapchat cofounders Evan Spiegel, 26, and Robert Murphy, 28, rang the bell at the NYSE at 9:30 a.m. ET on Thursday. The NYSE shared this moment, as well as other big moments form the IPO event, on their Snapchat channel. Here are some of the highlights:
Visitors were handed free stuffed figures in the shape of Snapchat's famous ghost logo. The ghost is officially named Ghostface Chillah, a play on Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan. The logo is meant to represent how photos or videos on Snap are there at first, but then they're gone -- like a ghost.
Spiegel was accompanied by his fiancée and former Victoria's Secret angel Miranda Kerr at the NYSE where the couple was seen (just barely in this Snap) speaking with NYSE president Thomas Farley and NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer.
Spiegel and Kerr whipped out their phones to capture the big moment on, of course, their own Snapchat channels. Later that morning, Kerr posted this photo of Spiegel on Instagram, which is owned by Snapchat rival Facebook (FB - Get Report) .
A post shared by Miranda (@mirandakerr) on
The NYSE presented Spiegel and Murphy with a framed listing certificate and a ceremonial gavel to ring the bell with.
The cofounders plan to sell 16 million shares each today and could make at least $384 million apiece today, according to CNBC. At today's price, Spiegel now has a net worth on paper of about $4.5 billion, while Murphy's is about $3.9 billion. Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's net worth has soared to $56.7 billion since his company's IPO in May 2012.
Snap returned the favor to the NYSE with a brightly colored Snapbot. The vending machine dispenses Spectacles, or the sunglasses that can record and upload 10-second video clips directly to your Snapchat channel. The first and so far only hardware product released from the company was originally only available through vending machines in certain cities, but are now available online on the Snapchat website.
Spiegel and Murphy were greeted by a crowd of traders and reporters on the floor of the NYSE. The company chose the NYSE as the listing exchange for its IPO on January 30. This was seen as a setback for the Nasdaq, which had competed to get the high-profile listing.
Spiegel got to sign the NYSE's Distinguished Guest Book as he made his way toward the podium to ring the opening bell. This is a newer tradition that began this year when the NYSE redid the podium that guests ring the bell from, the exchange told TheStreet.
This is the view Spiegel and Murphy got from the podium where they had the honor of ringing the day's opening bell. The bell is rung each morning at 9:30 a.m. Monday through Friday to signal the start of that day's trading session. This NYSE tradition began in 1985 and has become a symbolic event each morning.
Here's the view the eager audience, armed with cell phones, had from below the podium.
After ringing the bell, the co-founders made their way over to sign the wall of the NYSE. Like the guest book, signing the wall is a newer tradition that began earlier this year, according to the NYSE.
After the bell, traders on the floor worked to balance demand to find the right price to open the stock up at. The stock finally started trading at around 11:20 a.m. at $24 a share, 41% above its initial offering price. In 2014, Alibaba's IPO took two hours before is opened for trading, the NYSE's Farley told CNBC. But smaller IPOs can start trading after 20 minutes, he noted.
Everyone, including TheStreet's Jim Cramer, was eager to see what happened on Snap's first day of trading. As of about 1:00 p.m. ET, Snap shares were holding steady at around $25.44 a share, up almost 50% from its initial offering price.