Snapchat parent Snap to raise up to $3 bn in IPO

San Francisco: The parent of the fast-growing social network Snapchat filed public documents for a share offering on Thursday, seeking to raise up to $3 billion in a keenly anticipated Wall Street debut.
California-based Snap Inc, which had earlier filed confidential documents for an initial public offering, was expected to be one of the biggest tech company IPOs in recent years with a valuation likely to top $20 billion. In documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Snap said it took in $404 million in revenue last year but lost $515 million.
Snapchat, known for its disappearing messages, has become hugely popular with young smartphone users. But the company has recently been expanding its offerings to allow publishers to deliver content through the platform.
According to the filing, 158 million people use Snapchat daily, and over 2.5 billion Snaps are created every day.
Snapchat has partnerships with dozens of publishers and organisations, including one announced on Thursday by the New York Times. Snapchat said it expects to derive most of its revenue from advertising, where it will compete against rivals such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.
The company noted that since its inception it has been losing money and “may not achieve or maintain profitability.”
Snapchat reportedly spurned a multibillion-dollar offer from Facebook, preferring to remain independent.
Snap’s offering on the New York Stock Exchange is the largest for a technology company in the US since Chinese-based Alibaba listed in 2014.
The documents did not provide share pricing and noted that the amount to be raised could be revised before the market debut, which is likely to take place in March. While some analysts say Snap has the potential to challenge Facebook, others say it could end up like Twitter, which consistently lost money and whose existence as an independent firm is in peril. — AFP