Snapchat files for $3 billion IPO as secrecy era ends


Snap Inc., the maker of the disappearing photo app Snapchat, filed publicly for an initial offering, the first U.S. social-media company to do so since Twitter Inc. more than three years ago.

The company filed with an initial size of $3 billion, a placeholder amount used to calculate fees that may change. Snap plans to raise as much as $4 billion in the IPO, people familiar with the matter have said, for a market value of as much as $25 billion.

The company’s net loss widened to $515 million in 2016, on revenue of $404 million, according to the prospectus filed Thursday. That compares with a loss of $382 million in 2015, on revenue of $59 million.

Snapchat has more than 158 million daily active users. Quarterly average revenue per user on a global basis climbed to $1.05 in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared with 31 cents in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Snap plans to use the proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes, which may include acquisitions.

Snap said it plans to spend $2 billion with Alphabet over the next five years to use Google’s cloud-computing services. This is because they rely on Alphabet Inc.’s Google for most of its computing, storage and bandwidth, and any disruptions to Google’s cloud functioning could “seriously” hurt its business.

Last year, Snapchat filed confidentially for an IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act. The Jobs Act is a venue for companies with revenue of less than $1 billion to file privately and work out details with the SEC away from the public eye.

Snap plans to list its Class A shares on the New York Stock Exchange, under the symbol SNAP.


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