PayPal has completed its separation from eBay, making its stock debut with a higher market value than its parent company.
The separation will give Paypal the freedom to work with other potential partners, such as marketplaces like Amazon or Alibaba and increase its market share.
PayPal, which has 169m users and processed 4bn payments in 2014, started trading on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol PYPL on Monday, with a market capitalisation of $50.8bn (£32.6bn).
Shares had risen 5.9 percent in premarket trading, from $38.35 on Friday evening to $40.62 on Monday morning. The opening share price was $41.63, but has since fallen back to $40.89.
Meanwhile, eBay’s value shrunk to roughly $34bn following the spinoff. The company recently annouced that it plans to sell its enterprise business, leaving it with only its marketplace business.
“Investors have been waiting to invest in PayPal for a long time, even before the split was announced,” Gil Luria, analyst at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, told Bloomberg ahead of the float.
“We’re finally at a point where you can only own PayPal with its market-leading position and growth rate.”
PayPal, which was founded by a group of investors including venture capitalist Peter Thiel and Tesla Motors boss Elon Musk in 1998, first listed on Nasdaq in 2002 and was bought later that year by eBay.
The decision to split the two companies came after activist investor Carl Icahn last year pushed for the separation – a move initially resisted by eBay.
PayPal is also looking to compete with Western Union) and other money transfer companies. CEO Dan Shulman said he was looking to use Paypal’s size to offer affordable financial services widely.
“It’s clear that the potential for mobile technology to transform money extends beyond commerce. The vast majority of the world’s 7 billion people lack access to even basic financial services,” Schulman told Reuters.
Last week, eBay said it would sell its enterprise business to a consortium led by private equity firm Permira, a deal that leaves eBay with its marketplace business, where it faces stiff competition from rivals such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).
Before the float, guests could have their photos taken and projected on the Nasdaq’s seven-story digital billboard in Times Square. In addition to streaming photos around Times Square, the images can be shared across social platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more using #PYPL.
Visitors were invited to enjoy complimentary donuts and coffee from PayPal food trucks to help us celebrate this important milestone.