Snap Inc., The company behind the popular video and picture sharing app Snapchat, is currently planning its initial public offering (IPO) that could see the four-year-old company valued at a minimum of $25 billion.
If this turns out to be the case, it would make the company's upcoming share sale the largest on a US stock exchange since the Chinese e-commerce service Alibaba went public in 2014 with a first listed value of $168 billion.
Snapchat was founded by by 26 year old Evan Spiegel, who now serves as its CEO. In September of this year, he made the decision to rename the company Snap Inc. According to the business data firm eMarketer, the company is expected to generate $366.7 million in worldwide ad revenue. This is a steep increase from last year when Snapchat earned $60 million from advertisers. However, it is still unclear as to whether or not the service is profitable yet.
In 2013, Spiegel publicly turned down a $3 billion bid for Snapchat from Facebook. This was a year after the social network acquired the company's rival photography app Instagram for $2 billion. Since the acquisition, Facebook has added a number of Snapchat's own features to Instagram with the most notable being the ability to upload a series of short videos that are linked to one another.
Snapchat has continued to increase in value dramatically with its valuation rising to $17.8 billion after its last funding round in May. A number of new investors contributed to the company with the most notable being Sequoia Capital, which has previously invested in YouTube, Google, Oracle and Yahoo.
In addition to its upcoming IPO, Snapchat recently announced that it would be expanding beyond software and would produce its own hardware in the form a pair of glasses that can record snaps that are then sent to a user's phone called 'Spectacles.' They will launch in time for the holiday season and will be available for $130.
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