Snapchat, one of tech's most popular and fastest growing social media applications is planning to follow in the footsteps of its successful predecessors. Similar to how Mark Zuckerberg oversaw Facebook's (FB) IPO, Snapchat Co-Founder & CEO Evan Spiegel recently stated that Snapchat “need(s) to IPO." After releasing this juicy news, Spiegel later declared that Snapchat had also formed a strategic plan for doing so.
For those who don’t know, Snapchat is a popular social media application that allows users to send pictures, videos, and even money to other members. However, Snapchat has differentiated itself by placing time limits on content messaging. After a certain amount of time has elapsed, message content is deleted and cannot be viewed again (unless you work at Snapchat). This service may appear useless, but the company has been booming.
Since declining Facebook’s $3 billon acquisition offer in 2013, Snapchat has exploded in popularity, especially among teenagers and Millennials; according to ComScore, 71% of Snapchat’s users are between 18-34 years old. This demographic is of extreme interest to advertisers, especially since most in this age group occupy mobile devices. Moreover, because of Snapchat’s new “Discover” feature, advertisers are able to directly market to targeted audiences.
Snapchat has also raised over $537 million since March of this year, with Alibaba (BABA) acting as a main contributor. This new round of funding values Snapchat at around $16 billion, and places it among the ranks of Palantir (America’s most secretive company), Dropbox, Airbnb, Pinterest, Xiaomi, and Uber as one of the most valuable venture-backed startups to date.
While Snapchat, like Twitter (TWTR), has yet to make a profit, investors continue to believe in the platform's potential. By issuing an IPO, Snapchat will not only generate excess operating capital, but it will also allow Millennials to invest in an application they fuel.