A Snapchat IPO is seen by many investors as a bellwether for numerous largest so-called "unicorns", private, venture-backed companies that are valued at more than $1bn.
Snap filed for the IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the US Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, which grants confidentiality to IPO filings from companies with less than $1bn in annual revenues.
Snapchat, the social-network messaging app that turned down an offer three years ago from Facebook to be acquired for $3 billion, has filed for an initial public offering, Reuters reported November 15.
At $25 billion, Snap would be the biggest U.S. IPO by market cap since Alibaba came public at a valuation near $170 billion. Bloomberg has reported that Snap's IPO valuation could swell as high as $40 billion. Snap is expected to be valued between $20 billion and $25 billion when it goes public, according to the Journal.
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Snapchat launched back in as a mobile app that allowed users to send photos that vanish within seconds.
But automating ad sales should significantly boost Snapchat's bottom line, which is likely why investors are expecting as much as $1 billion in revenue from the company next year.
The company is now marketing its first hardware product: Spectacles, sunglasses with a built-in wireless video camera that can record 30 seconds of video at a time. The app is now more popular than Twitter, with more than 100 million daily users.
Most recently Snap's spectacles hardware went on sale, another evidence that the company perhaps has more potential than mere producing great software.
In May this year, Snapchat raised $1.81 billion, at a valuation of $20 billion.