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Snapchat files for an IPO; expects to raise $4 billion

Social media platform Snapchat has filed for an IPO (initial public offering) with an initial size of $3 billion, reports the Mint. The company plans to raise as much as $4 billion from the IPO with a market valuation of up to $25 billion.

In its filing, Snapchat indicates that it will use the funding for acquisitions and other corporate purposes. It also plans to spend $2 billion with Alphabet over the next 5 years to use Google’s cloud computing services, on which it relies.

As of Q4FY16, Snapchat claims to have 158 million Daily Active Users (DAU) worldwide, a growth of 48% year on year from 107 million DAUs in the same quarter last year. Of this, 68 million DAUs come from North America, 52 million from Europe and 39 million from the rest of the world. The company currently offers an image sharing app that auto-deletes photos after sometime, with other features like ‘stories’, chat, geofilter, ‘lenses’, bitmoji etc. It also sells spectacles with a integrated video cameras.

Snapchat mentions that, Google, Apple, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram are its significant competitors. Note that Twitter had expected to raise $1 billion through its IPO filing in 2013, while Facebook expected to raised $5-10 billion through its IPO filed in 2012. Apple on the other hand went public back in 1980 and Google much later in 2004. WhatsApp and Instagram are owned by Facebook.

Financials: Overall, Snapchat reported losses of $515 million in FY2016, significantly up from $382 million in FY2015. However, revenues in the same time period also increased substantially, with $404 million generated in 2016, as compared to $59 million in 2015.

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