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Snapchat is reportedly in talks with Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba for a financing round that would value the company at a whopping $10 billion, according to a Bloomberg report citing anonymous sources.
At this point, nothing should shock the public about messaging APP valuations. With WhatsApp going to Facebook for $19 billion and Facebook reportedly bidding $3 billion on Snapchat last year, the floodgates are open.
And yet the idea of three-year old Snapchat now being valued at $10 billion is still a bit staggering. If you consider the number of “snaps” shared daily, its users are far more engaged than Instagram users, but Snapchat at this point still seems like more of a feature than a company.
Yes, it has rolled out “stories,” it has started experimenting with collaborative snap stories like that from Electric Daisy Carnival, and it has introduced chat messaging. Sure, there’s conceivable revenue strategies around brands and topic interests. Ok, teens love it.
But is all that enough to make it potentially worth $10 billion? If the deal pans out, Snapchat would be valued at double the value attached to Pinterest, which has a clearly executable advertising revenue strategy with promoted pins and big corporate brands already throwing dollars at it.
If the report is true, Snapchat’s valuation is on the same pace that Facebook’s estimated valuation was tracking at the three to five-year mark of its existence.
The funding reflects the notion that investors believe Snapchat is the next Facebook or Twitter. Or, perhaps, reported investor Alibaba is considering a bet that Snapchat is the next WhatsApp, a threat so big Facebook will be forced to eventually buy it for sixteen times the cost of Instagram.