Snap Inc is planning a $25bn IPO for March 2017

7 Oct 2016

Snap is growing at a fast pace and inspiring older social media players like Instagram to copy it with some features. Image: dennizn/Shutterstock

Snap Inc, the company formerly known as Snapchat, is working on an IPO that could value the fast-growing social media player at $25bn or more.

Snap, which is outpacing Twitter at a phenomenal rate and appears to be inspiring rivals like Facebook and Instagram with ideas, could be one of the most exciting stock market debuts in years.

With 150m unique daily active users over Twitter’s 140m, the ephemeral social network is understood to be projecting revenues of $1bn in 2017, up from $350m estimated for 2016.

Future Human

Snap, which was founded only four years ago, earlier this year raised $1.8bn in a gigantic funding round, valuing the company at $18bn.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the IPO placing could take place as early as March.

It was started in a Snap

The company was founded in Stanford University by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown, while they were students.

Snap began under the name Picaboo, inspired by the concept of messages that would disappear, hence the ghost logo for the company.

A bitter dispute over Brown’s role in co-founding the company was settled, crediting Brown with a role in conceiving the idea.

Snap’s whole concept is in the name, with it allowing people to send annotated selfies and short videos that disappear after a short time, turning communication into a kind of game where users can achieve a ‘Snapstreak’.

Last year, Snap branched into the world of news and live stories, making it a credible new platform for astute publishers. Their partners range from Sky to Condé Nast, hoping to reach out to a new generation of teens and 20-somethings who view the original social networks like Twitter and Facebook as places more suited for family gatherings.

In recent weeks, the company showed just how fast it is moving when it revealed a move into hardware with its new Spectacles glasses.

With 150m daily users, it has a long way to go to catch up with Facebook and its 1.5bn daily users – but Snap Inc is growing at a rapid pace. It has an innovation engine that is hard to ignore and a healthy advertising business, next only to Facebook in terms of growth.

Snapchat. Image:dennizn/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years