Snap Inc secretly files for IPO, valuing it at up to $25bn

16 Nov 20166 Shares

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The Snapchat app began under the name Picaboo, inspired by the concept of messages that would disappear, hence the ghost logo for the company. Image: Dennizn/Shutterstock

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Ephemeral messaging app Snapchat, under Snap Inc, has confidentially filed for an IPO that values it at between $20bn and $25bn.

As a result, Snap Inc could go public as early as March 2017.

The $20bn to $25bn IPO will make it the largest since Chinese e-commerce player Alibaba went public two years ago, with a $170bn valuation.

To get a sense of scale, Facebook’s IPO valued the social networking giant at $81.2bn.

Under the US Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, companies with less than $1bn in revenue can secretly file for an IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This enables them to quietly test investor appetite while keeping financials confidential.

Snapping at heels of Twitter and Facebook

Snap was founded only four years ago at Stanford University by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown, while they were students.

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

Earlier this year, $1.8bn was raised in a gigantic funding round, valuing the company at $18bn.

Recently, Snap moved into hardware with its new Spectacles glasses.

Snap app on a smartphone. Image: Dennizn/Shutterstock

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com