Facebook pulls off largest tech IPO ever

Facebook Like button on computer screen

Ring the bells: It’s a landmark day for Wall Street and Silicon Valley as the world’s biggest social network becomes a public company.

The American Dream is alive and well in Menlo Park.

Facebook went public Friday, after raising $16 billion Thursday at a valuation of more than $104 billion. Shares opened for trading shortly after 11 a.m., at $42.05, up slightly from the previously announced price of $38.

This is the largest VC-backed tech IPO ever—10 times bigger than Google’s IPO in 2004, and the third largest public offering in the history of the United States, just behind General Motors and Visa. Having grown in eight years from a scrappy start-up, the company, which has created more than 3,000 jobs, and made $3.7 billion revenue last year, today enters a new phase in its trajectory.

Underwriters for the deal, who stand to make millions in fees and even more in shares owned, included Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs. Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Goldman Sachs will sell about $1 billion of stock in Facebook after the IPO, “cashing out almost half their stake after the social network doubled in value.”

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