Snapchat is officially going to Wall Street. The messaging app’s parent company, Snap Inc., has publicly filed for its IPO, which seeks a valuation of $25 billion.
Snapchat has been prepping for its IPO since at least October 2016, just days after it announced its plan to reorganize itself under the Snap Inc. banner. USA Today notes that the $25 billion figure will be the biggest IPO for an American tech company since Facebook’s $81.2 billion IPO back in 2012. In seeking such a big valuation, Snapchat is banking on the growth of its ad revenue business, which spans multiple formats. “Our advertising business is still young but growing rapidly,” reads the company’s SEC filing. “For the year ended December 31, 2016, we recorded revenue of $404.5 million, as compared to revenue of $58.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, representing a year-over-year increase of more than 6x.”
While there are many reasons to be excited about Snapchat’s future, the past few months have cast some doubt about the app’s long-term viability. The most significant threat comes from Instagram, which has used a well-executed clone of Snapchat’s Stories feature to eat into the messaging app’s market share. A chart shared within Snapchat’s SEC filing shows that the rate at which the company is acquiring new customers has slowed significantly over the past year.
Still, with innovations into wearable products like Spectacles supporting its core business, Snap Inc. hopes to make good on the lofty promises of its IPO. Once it becomes publicly traded, Snapchat will need to share more of its financial information than it currently does, so us prognosticators will be able to see with much more clarity the direction in which the company is headed.