Holy market mania: Millennial Media shares soar on first day

Mobile mania turns into stock market fervor as shares in the mobile-advertising player nearly double their value.

Paul Sloan Former Editor
Paul Sloan is editor in chief of CNET News. Before joining CNET, he had been a San Francisco-based correspondent for Fortune magazine, an editor at large for Business 2.0 magazine, and a senior producer for CNN. When his fingers aren't on a keyboard, they're usually on a guitar. Email him here.
Paul Sloan

Understandably, some people are making comparisons to 1999.

Millennial Media, a giant mobile advertising platform that rose up to take on the likes of Google and Apple, saw its stock nearly double on its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares were priced last night at $13 each, and closed at $25.

The company, which helps create ads for smartphones and tablets, is the largest independent player in this booming market. Its revenue rose 117 percent in 2011 to $103.7 million, although the company is still losing money. Such a stock debut is sure to become part of the are-we-or-are-we-not-in-a-tech-bubble debate.

George Zachary

Speaking of which, we'll be hosting a debate of sorts tonight at CNET headquarters in San Francisco as part of a new series. One of the panelists is venture capitalist George Zachary, whose firm, Charles River Ventures, is one of Millennial's backers.

Come check out the live stream here. We'll be sure to talk about the IPO market and what it means for startups while Zachary sips champagne.