Snap is about to bring the mega-billion-dollar tech IPO back in a big way

The mobile messager formerly known as Snapchat filed for an initial public offering that could top $25 billion

By Matthew Rozsa
Published November 16, 2016 9:15PM (EST)
 (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
(Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

Frivolous? Ephemeral? Snap Inc., formerly Snapchat, has recently filed paperwork for an initial public offering that may result in one of the most valuable American technology offerings in years.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Snap Inc. confidentially filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO in recent weeks. The IPO is expected to be launched as early as March and is expected to value Snap at anywhere from $20 billion to $25 billion, with The Wall Street Journal reporting in October that the valuation could even be in excess of $25 billion.

If all goes according to plan, Snap would then become the most valuable tech stock offering in the United States since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the massive Chinese e-commerce company, was launched at a valued $168 billion in 2014.

"That could provide a boost for the IPO market, which has had a dismal year," The Wall Street Journal writes. "Just 103 companies have listed their shares in the U.S. in 2016, raising $21.8 billion, according to data provider Dealogic. That is down from 165 deals raising $34.6 billion at the same juncture last year and marks the lowest year-to-date level for deals since 2009 and proceeds since 2010. Technology IPOs have experienced similar weakness."

This isn't the first time this autumn that Snap has made business headlines in its attempts to diversify its product line and become a bigger player in the tech industry. The company, led by CEO Evan Spiegel, also recently launched Snap Spectacles, the company's first ever camera that shoots video with a 115-degree field of view and can be linked to an app folder for editing and sharing.


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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