With Snapchat’s initial public offering (IPO) looming ever closer, we are about to find out just how much our Snaps are worth to the company. According to sources speaking to Re/code, we’ll finally get to see Snapchat’s closely-guarded financial information and plans for operating as a public company sometime next week when it publicly files for an IPO.
Snap Inc’s IPO could occur as soon as March following a nine-week “road show” where it markets the company to potential investors. With over 100 million active users, mostly in the elusive 13-24 age group, Snapchat will garner a lot of interest.
Analysts expect Snap Inc to be valued at somewhere between $20-25 billion – that’s an even greater sum than Facebook paid to acquire WhatsApp a few years back. Rumor has it that late in the negotiations Google tried to offer WhatsApp even more than Facebook’s offer but was too late to sway their decision.
Snapchat has already filed confidential information with the SEC, an opportunity only available to companies planning an IPO that have less than a billion dollars in revenue. If Snap Inc’s valuation meets expectations, it will be the largest U.S. IPO since Facebook in 2012. Interestingly, Facebook failed to acquire the company for $3 billion dollars a few years ago.
The financial data is contained in the S-1 prospectus document Snap filed last year as a necessary precursor to its IPO. The S-1 document includes background on the company’s activities, financial data and corporate governance information for potential investors. Despite its eight-page length, an S-1 can take 1000 hours to complete.