Start-up Snapchat has refused an all-cash acquisition offer of about US$3bn from social networking giant Facebook, as other investors and potential buyers pursue the messaging service.
If Snapchat had accepted Facebook’s offer, it would have been Facebook’s largest acquisition, The Wall Street Journal reported. The US$3bn figure is more than double the US$1bn Facebook had paid for photo-sharing and editing app Instagram in April 2012.
Facebook’s interest in Snapchat lies in the fact more of its users are using the service via smartphones.
The Wall Street Journal also reported that e-commerce company Tencent Holdings had offered to lead a US$200m investment in Snapchat that would value the company at US$4bn.
Two-year-old Snapchat’s founder and CEO Evan Spiegel (23) is reportedly hoping the number of Snapchat’s users and messages (or ‘snaps’) increase to the point of justifying a larger valuation.
It’s unlikely he’ll consider an acquisition or investment until early 2014, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Snapchat had reported in September that its usage had increased from 200m messages per day in June to 350m.