Snapchat CEO, 24 year-old Evan Spiegel, has said that an initial public offering (IPO) is “really important” for the ephemeral social media platform.
Since it launched in 2011, Snapchat has grown to 100million registered users actively engaging with the platform each day. Of those, 65% upload ‘snaps’ – photos, pictures and videos – which are shared amongst a closed group of friends and contacts. Conscious of its young adult user group, Snapchat has partnered with several news sites and launched Snapchat Discover, a news service which sits in the app.
Having turned down a reported $3billion offer for the service from Facebook in 2013, Snapchat CEO Spiegel has pushed forward, creating a company which is estimated to be worth $15 – 19billion. It has undertaken several rounds of private funding and counts Yahoo and Alibaba amongst its investors. In reality, however, we know very little about the private companies revenue and profits, which makes the estimated valuations pure guesswork.
Speaking at the Code Conference in California, Spiegel went on to predict a tech crash, suggesting that the unprecedented growth in the tech sector could soon be coming to an end. Whether he follows his own intuition and floats Snapchat before a crash waits to be seen, but now the hook has been baited, we must sit back and see how this aggressively independent operator takes Snapchat through the next stage of its life.
I joined Simon Pusey for the Arise News Business Hour to discuss this and the future for the social tech industry.