Snapchat owner’s shares have begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
In Snap’s opening minutes, its price hit $24.48 a share, a jump of about 40%.
The flotation valued Snap at $17 a share, or $24 billion in all, although the company has never made a profit.
Snap’s IPO is the biggest for an American tech company since Facebook in 2012 and will its founders, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, into multi-billionaires.
Snapchat, which is especially popular with teenagers, allows users to send images and messages which then vanish.
Snap’s losses widened in 2016, and user growth is slowing down in the face of intense competition from larger rivals such as Facebook.
Despite the challenges in converting “cool” into cash, Snap’s valuation is the richest for a US tech flotation since Facebook in 2012.
At the beginning of February Snap’s formal announcement to regulators of its plans revealed that the company had revenue of $404 million in 2016, but made a loss of $515 million.
Unlike in most listed companies, people who buy the floated shares in Snap will not get any voting rights.
Some analysts argued the company was overvalued, but others were more positive.