Snapbot Spectacles

Early reads on Snap Inc.’s initial public offering showed the company’s stock popping nearly 48 percent to $25 as trading commenced Thursday.

That’s a surge past the $17 pricing revealed after market close Wednesday, raising $3.4 billion across the 200 million shares available for sale. That’s also well above the original $14 to $16 a share estimates in Snap’s February IPO filing.

Snap is the parent of the popular Snapchat app, which has quickly gained traction among users who have taken to its ephemeral form of communicating of-the-moment events and thoughts.

The parent company rebranded itself in the fall to simply Snap as it also seeks to position itself in the market as a new breed camera company.

It remains to be seen if the company can be profitable off its ambitions. Snap’s top line growth last year rose 600 percent to $404.5 million. Losses totaled $514.6 million and the company said in its IPO filing in February it may never be profitable as it continues to heavily invest in new products.

The first of those were the Spectacles camera-enabled sunglasses. A scarcity factor was created with the glasses originally only available via pop-up vending machines before a recent move that made Spectacles available through its online store. More recent reports have said the company has also worked on a drone.

The company’s IPO has caused a stir locally among some who have decried its presence in Venice, where Snap’s headquarters are spread across a number of properties. Protestors against the company and its IPO have accused Snap of causing gentrification in the area and running mom-and-pop businesses out of town, an issue for a community that has long prided itself on being an artist enclave full of indie designers and businesses.

Protestors gathered outside Snap’s headquarters Tuesday with another demonstration expected to begin there at 9 a.m. local time Thursday.

Snap is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker SNAP.

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