The wait is over. In what is being dubbed as the biggest Internet IPO of all time, Facebook today priced 421,233,615 shares at $38 per share. That was at the high point of the expected range, generating an estimated $18 billion in proceeds.
The company will have a market value of about $104 billion when it starts trading tomorrow, according to MarketWatch. That’s ahead of Amazon.com, now valued at $98 billion. The Wall Street Journal notes that the IPO is the second biggest of all time, just behind Visa, which raised $19.6 billion in 2008.
The offering marks an economic windfall for hundreds of Facebook employees and venture capitalists, with existing stockholders expected to reap about $9 billion, according to the AP. It will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker FB.
Incidentally, the IPO also will prove to be a nice win for Microsoft, a Facebook partner which invested $240 million in the company in 2007. It now owns 1.8 percent of the social networking giant.
Many investors have been wondering whether to invest in Facebook, with some calling it a fad and other saying it is simply overvalued. Our poll this week showed that GeekWire readers were pretty evenly split on whether they’d invest.
Here’s a look at how Facebook’s IPOs compares to some other tech giants in a visualization put together by Daniel Hom of Tableau Software.
Previously on GeekWire: Open Letter to New Facebook Millionaires: Pay off mom’s mortgage! (And 5 other tips)