Venice based Snapchat Raises $538 Million
LABJ 5/29/15 http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/may/29/snapchat-raises-538-million/
Days after declaring its intent to IPO, Snapchat disclosed it has raised a $538 million round from a group of 35 private investors.
The offering was for $650 million in stock and at this point leaves $112 million unsold, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Thursday. A Snapchat spokeswoman declined to discuss the round, but sources for CNBC said the deal values the company at $16 billion. Since earlier this year, the company has been rumored to be valued at as much as $19 billion.
The company has drawn investment interest from a wide array of sources. Earlier this year, newly public Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group was rumored to be considering a $200 million investment in Snapchat that would value the company at $15 billion. It’s not clear if that investment is part of this round, but Snapchat has not declared any other fundraising efforts between now and when the Alibaba rumors surfaced.
This latest investment round comes on the heels of Snapchat Chief Executive Evan Spiegel declaring, “We need to IPO, we have a plan to do that,” at Re/code’s Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes on Tuesday.
Snapchat has fueled up on about $1.1 billion in private financing since its start in 2011, according to SEC filings, but has yet to bring in much revenue. It claims that 100 million people use the app every day.
Investors are betting that the company can squeeze value out of those users via advertisements or possibly by taking a percentage of peer-to-peer payments, which the company has offered since November. Efforts to turn Snapchat into a viable business started last fall when the company began experimenting with advertisements.
Since then, the company has reportedly charged advertisers as much as $100 per 1,000 video views for its Discover feature, a collection of daily video channels for publishers such as CNN, National Geographic and ESPN. Recently, those prices were lowered to $20 per 1,000 views.
*Shared by Jeff Vertun