Snapchat’s recent name change to Snap Inc. seems to signal more than the app’s push into hardware. Snap is exploring an initial public offering that could value the company at $25 billion or more and could happen as soon as early next year, according to a new report.
Snap could start selling shares as early as late March, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal. Citing unnamed sources, the report said Snap hasn’t yet hired any banks as it works on its public filing, called an S-1. The company was recently valued by investors at about $18 billion when it most recently raised funding in May. If the IPO occurs, Snap would be the largest company to go public on a U.S. exchange since 2014. A Snapchat spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
Snap has told investors it expects revenue of between $250 million and $350 million this year, and up to $1 billion in 2017; and the company is ahead of its upper 2016 forecast, according to the report. (Forecasting firm eMarketer estimates the company will generate $366.7 million in revenue this year and nearly $1 billion in 2017.) Snapchat has raised about $2.4 billion in private funding to date.
The company sells full-screen, vertical video ads in its “Discover” and “Stories” sections, which play with sound after users click them. Snapchat’s Discover section, which features articles and video from more than a dozen publishers such as CNN, iHeart Radio and Cosmopolitan, generates nearly half of the company’s total U.S. ad revenue, according to eMarketer. Snapchat also sells geofilters and lenses.