Snapchat Parent Poised for $24 Billion Valuation in IPO (Report)

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Snapchat founders Bobby Murphy (left) and Evan Spiegel

The stock will begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange at $17 per share.

Snap Inc., the parent company of messaging app Snapchat, has priced its shares at $17 each ahead of its Thursday initial public offering, giving the company a valuation just short of $24 billion, according to a report Wednesday from The Wall Street Journal

That's well above the $14-$16 range initially expected, indicating that there has been strong demand for the five-year-old company on Wall Street. 

At that price, the highly anticipated IPO would be the largest in the U.S. since Alibaba went public in 2014 and would give the slow market for tech IPOs a boost. 

The company, which will trade under the ticker symbol SNAP, is offering 200 million shares in its IPO. 

Based in Venice, Calif., Snap has grown from an app known for its disappearing messages into a business — one that CEO Evan Spiegel describes as a camera company — that offers a robust content platform and sells camera-enabled glasses called Spectacles. Snap made just over $404 million in revenue in 2016 and lost nearly $515 million. Despite its fast growth among young people in its early days, it is adding new users at a lower rate than it previously did. In December it reached 161 million daily active users around the world, up 46 percent from the previous year.