March 1 (Reuters) - Snap Inc, owner of popular messaging app Snapchat, raised $3.4 billion in its initial public offering on Wednesday, more than it had sought, in the most eagerly awaited technology IPO since Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba went public in 2014.
The successful IPO pricing clears a major hurdle for Snap, which will go public without having yet turned a profit. The company's losses widened last year, and it is experiencing decelerating user growth in the face of intense competition from larger rivals such as Facebook.
Despite the challenges in converting "cool" into cash, Snap clinched a valuation of $24 billion, the richest valuation in a U.S. tech IPO since Facebook in 2012. It will list on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.
Snap priced 200 million shares on Wednesday night at $17 per share, above its indicated range of $14 to $16 dollars a share. (Reporting by Lauren Hirsch in New York; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)