Snapchat Parent Company Files for Initial Public Offering (Report)

Issue 19 FEA Evan Spiegel - P 2014
Noah Webb

Issue 19 FEA Evan Spiegel - P 2014

Snap Inc. is the parent company of Snapchat and Spectacles.

As a bright yellow vending machine slowly travels the country to dole out a limited number of smart sunglasses known as Spectacles, the tech company behind the device appears to have been planning its public debut. 

Snap Inc., the parent company of messaging app Snapchat and maker of the Spectacles, has confidentially filed the paperwork for an initial public offering, according to a report in Reuters

There has been speculation for the last several weeks that the five-year-old company was preparing for an IPO, with the The Wall Street Journal reporting in October that Snap was looking to raise up to $4 billion in a sale of its shares via the public market.

Bloomberg reports that Snapchat filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission prior to the election and will seek a valuation between $20 billion and $25 billion. 

An IPO would be the latest in a series of steps that CEO Evan Spiegel has taken recently to transform his company. Founded in 2011 as Snapchat, the startup became known for its disappearing photos and text messages but has evolved as it added a platform, called Discover, for publishers to reach Snapchat's young audiences. In September, Snapchat rebranded as Snap Inc. and announced plans to launch its first hardware device, Spectacles, which take 10-second videos that can then be uploaded to Snapchat.  

Snapchat has more than 150 million daily active users, half of the 300 million people who use Instagram daily. According to Bloomberg, the company expects to bring in $350 million in revenue this year. That would make it eligible to file for an IPO confidentially under the JOBS act, which says a company with less than $1 billion in revenue can prepare an IPO without public scrutiny. 

A Snap spokeswoman declined to comment.