Snapchat Soars in IPO, So What Exactly is It?

What is Snapchat?


Snapchat History

Snapchat begain in 2011 when co-founder Evan Spiegel floated the idea as a final project for a product design class at Stanford University.  In its first blog post, Siegel explained

Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion—not just what appears to be pretty or perfect.”

From December 2012 to November 2014, Snapchat raised $143.5M in three rounds (Series A: $13.5 million, Series B: $80 million, and Series C: $50 million).  By May 2015, Snapchat had gained 100 million currently active users, who send snaps at a rate over 400 million a day.It is also seeing 2 billion video views a day.  Snapchat would continue to raise approximately $2.7 billion in subsequent rounds.

Its IPO filings revealed it has 158 million daily users, more than 10 billion daily video views and earned $404 million in 2016.

Based in Venice, California, the company has a mere 330, which gives it the highest valuation per headcount rate – even double that of Facebook.  They recently opened a London office as its overseas hub.

Last fall they released Snapchat Spectacles.

Snapchat Demographics


  • Eighteen percent of social media users in the U.S.
  • The average user spends 25-30 minutes on Snapchat each day.
  • Approximately 70% of Snapchat users are under 34 years old and female
  • 45% of Snapchat users are between 18-34
  •  But . . . over 50% of new Snapchat users are over the age of 25 and growth among users 35 and older is greater than for 18- to 24-year-olds.

IPO Success

  • Its more valuable than American Airlines, Best Buy, Ferrari, Hilton, Seagate, Twitter, United Airlines and Viacom.

  • A rare VC-funded startup to get valued at over $1B.

  • Second best opening day among recent IPO’s.

The Prayer of St. Francis

From Quartz

The investment gave Saint Francis about 2.1 million Class A shares in Snap. The school sold two-thirds of those shares at $17 each—the IPO price set by Snap last night—to raise about $24 million, it told Quartz today. The remaining third of its holding, roughly 700,000 shares, could be even more lucrative. Snap’s stock ended its first day of trading today at $24.51 per share, up 44%.


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