For Snap Inc., a social media company that started its official bid to go public last Halloween, the looming question now is whether investors are in for a trick or a treat. Snap passed its first major test on Wall Street on Wednesday, when the company behind the popular messaging app Snapchat priced its initial public offering of 200 million shares at $17 each. That's above the expected range of $14 to $16 and values the company at $24 billion, the AP reports. Snap Inc. is expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the symbol "SNAP."
Los Angeles-based Snap is one of the most anticipated technology IPOs since Twitter's stock market debut in 2013. That, in turn, created the biggest stir since Facebook took its first bow on Wall Street in 2012. Twitter is now valued at $11 billion, while Facebook is $393 billion. As such, it's being compared to both companies. Its biggest challenge might be increasing user growth, which has stalled in recent months since Facebook's Instagram cloned Snapchat's "stories" in August. With the feature, photos and videos shared by users play in a loop for 24 hours, then disappear.