Zynga IPO goes live: Opens at $11, quickly dips below IPO price

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus and his wife Alison ringing the NASDAQ opening bell

Zynga(s ZNGA) has officially made its public market debut. The social gaming company’s stock began trading on the NASDAQ stock market at just after 11:00am Eastern Time (8:00am Pacific Time) on Friday morning with an opening price of $11.00, a significant bump up from its initial public offering price of $10.00.

Right out the gate, Zynga was not as much of a runaway success as other web stocks such as LinkedIn on its IPO day: Within the first ten minutes Zynga was on the market, its shares already dipped below the IPO price, reaching as low as $9.48.

But as we’ve written before, covering the ups and downs of a company’s stock price on its first day of trading is a bit of a horse race. It will take much more time to gauge Zynga’s success as a public company, and the idea of going public is to build toward longer-term sustainable operations.

Right now, the most salient fact is that Zynga is officially a public company and it has raised $1 billion in its IPO, the biggest Internet IPO since Google went public more than seven years ago. Founder and CEO Mark Pincus rang the NASDAQ opening bell on Friday morning remotely from Zynga’s San Francisco headquarters, accompanied by his wife Alison. The whole thing is a success in itself for the four-and-a-half year old company, and it’s likely that regardless of the stock’s first-day ups and downs, today will be a happy one for many of its founders, investors and employees.