Get All Access for $5/mo

Alibaba Shares Soar Amid Record-Shattering IPO Initially priced at $68, shares of the Chinese tech titan opened at $92.70 this morning in what is officially the largest U.S.-based IPO of all time.

By Geoff Weiss

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Reckoning day has arrived for Alibaba -- the ecommerce giant of the East, whose record-setting IPO marks the largest stateside offering of all time. And as expected, the company is whipping up a Wall Street frenzy.

Priced at $68 yesterday, shares opened at $92.70 when trading kicked off in New York this morning. That marks an increase of roughly 36 percent. Due to order imbalances, trading for BABA -- the company's ticker name on the NYSE -- opened at 11:53 a.m. ET, more than two hours late.

As of 2:35 p.m. ET, shares were hovering around the open price and had climbed as high as $99.70.

Related: For U.S. Businesses, Selling on Alibaba Has Its Advantages

Initially valued at $168 billion, Alibaba's market cap soared to $228 billion on Friday -- meaning that, comparatively speaking, the company is now more valuable than some of the most ubiquitous names in tech, including Verizon ($206 billion), Facebook ($199 billion) and Amazon ($151 billion).

Initial pricing raised a total of $21.8 billion for the company yesterday, easily surpassing the $16 billion raised by Facebook when it went public in 2012. It also tops the funds raised by Visa ($19.7 billion) and General Motors ($18.2 billion) in their respective offerings.

However, given frenzied demand, Alibaba's underwriters could release additional shares on top of the 320.1 million that were initially offered, according to USA Today. This means that the company could ultimately raise as much as $25 billion, shattering a world record currently held by the Agricultural Bank of China ($22.1 billion).

Related: Alibaba Breaks Into U.S. Ecommerce Market With 11 Main

But just why are American investors going gaga for BABA? The multi-pronged company, founded in 1999 by former high school English teacher Jack Ma, dominates China's ecommerce market with a host of services that are comparable to Amazon, eBay and PayPal.

Some of its most popular products include online marketplaces Taobao and Tmall, as well as the digital payment provider Alipay.

And its vast user base within one of the world's most promising markets is matched by huge profits -- a feat that many buzzy tech companies can't claim to deliver. In its last fiscal year, the company reported annual revenues of $8.5 billion.

Related: Alibaba Could Be the Biggest IPO Ever -- But What the Heck Is It?

Geoff Weiss

Former Staff Writer

Geoff Weiss is a former staff writer at Entrepreneur.com.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Data & Recovery

Use This Code to Get 1TB of Cloud Storage for $120

Koofr Cloud Storage makes backing up and sharing work files a safer and easier process.

Business News

Wells Fargo Reportedly Fired More Than a Dozen Employees for Faking Keyboard Activity

The bank told Bloomberg that it "does not tolerate unethical behavior."

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Living

Get Easy Access to Fun Summaries of Non-fiction Bestsellers with This $60 Subscription

Headway lets users gain key ideas and insights from best-selling works of non-fiction.

Innovation

The Key to Real Innovation Is Cross-Pollination — Here Are 10 Ways to Implement It in Your Business

Transform your business with this unique approach to sparking innovation.

Business Models

5 Questions to Ask to Make Sure Your Company's Financial Plan Is on Track

Conducting a "check-up" at midyear is essential to maintain a healthy financial plan.