Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, is reported to have secretly filed for an IPO that would value the company at around $25bn.
It has been reported by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters that the filing was made under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or Jobs, Act, which allows US companies with revenues of less than $1bn to file for an IPO privately to allow them to test investor appetite and keep their financial details private.
Technology and business blogs have been speculating for some time that the owner of the app, which allows users to share time-limited photos and videos, has been preparing to float for some time and had paved the way for the move last month.
If the valuation proves correct, it would be the biggest technology float since that of Alibaba two years ago ad the biggest in the social media space since Facebook went public in May 2012 – at that point the business was valued at $104bn.
Snapchat has recently issued a raft of initiatives to monetise the app, include “Snap Ads Between Stories” and an “Ads API” enabling advertisers to use programmatic interfaces to buy campaigns.
Its filters and custom lenses are proving particularly popular with fashion and beauty businesses. Fashion retailer River Island launched a high profile “Snap and Share” Snapchat campaign in late summer and John Lewis has incorporated a custom lens of “Buster the Boxer” into its Christmas 16 campaign.
Snapchat was founded in September 2011 by Stanford students Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy. Official figures place its daily users at 100m-plus, though analysts believe it to be much higher at around 150m (around 10m more than use Twitter on a daily basis). On any given day the app is used by 41% of 18-34 year olds in the US.