“The rush of so-called unicorn start-ups toward the public markets had a rocky start. But Thursday indicated that investors remain eager to get a piece of them.

Shares in Pinterest, the digital pin board, jumped over 28 percent on its first day of trading as a public company. The company’s stock began trading at $23.75, above the initial public offering price of $19, and finished the day at $24.40.

The company’s fully diluted market capitalization totaled over $16 billion, making it more valuable than Macy’s or Nordstrom, the retail chains. More important to investors, the price put the company’s value above its last private valuation of $12 billion, avoiding a disappointing outcome.

Rick Heitzmann, managing director at FirstMark Capital, one of Pinterest’s first investors, said Pinterest’s understated culture served it well in the I.P.O. process. Pushing for a higher share price in its offering would not have been a good long-term strategy, he said.

“You don’t want to overhype anything,” Mr. Heitzmann said. “You want to set reasonable expectations and work really hard to exceed them.”

Pinterest is not a social media app for interacting with celebrities or broadcasting one’s life, the company said in its I.P.O. prospectus. It is meant to be personal instead. Its 250 million monthly active users, or pinners, use the site to plan important aspects of their lives, including home projects, weddings and meals.

The focus on personal growth and planning, rather than on comments and interactions with others, has helped Pinterest sidestep much of the bullying, toxic behavior and disinformation that have plagued other social platforms in recent years.

But Pinterest, which makes money from advertising, faces heavy competition from those companies, including Facebook and its Instagram subsidiary. Other rivals include Allrecipes, a recipe website; Houzz, a home-improvement website; and Tastemade, a cooking content company.

As a private company, Pinterest raised $1.5 billion from investors, many of whom will reap outsize paydays. Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, which invested in the company’s early days, will score big. Fidelity and Valiant Capital Partners also hold significant stakes.

In addition to providing a way for Pinterest’s investors and employees to cash out, Mr. Silbermann said, the money that Pinterest raised in its I.P.O. will allow the company to look at potential acquisitions and new lines of business.”

Read the full article on The New York Times here.