Solazyme’s long awaited debut on the NASDAQ May 27 proved worth the wait for the South San Francisco-based heterotrophic algae pioneers. After pricing shares to open at $18, trading on the first day drove the share price up to $21.01 by the end of trading, up nearly 17% on the day on a volume of 7,655,713 shares traded.

Of the shares of common stock in the offering, Solazyme offered 10.375 million shares, and selling stockholders offered another 600,000 shares. (Solazyme said it will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares by the selling stockholders.) The company has granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1.65 million common shares to cover over-allotments.

With the first day’s trading, the company has established a market capitalization of nearly $1.2 billion, based on 56,737,000 outstanding shares.