The company behind Snapchat could go public as early as March 2017 in an initial public offering that could value it at more than $25 billion, a report Thursday said.
Although the biggest tech companies have lately been testing how large they can grow their valuations privately before braving the public markets, Snap is expected to buck that trend, the Wall Street Journal said. Last month, the company was reported as having been talking to investment banks about getting the IPO process going.
The Los Angeles firm has told investors that it expects to hit revenues as high as $350 million this year and as much as $1 billion in 2017, the WSJ said.
Snap is currently valued at $17.8 billion based on the rapid growth of the Snapchat social messaging app, which now counts more than 150 million daily active users. That's not its only product anymore. Two weeks ago the company announced Spectacles, its first hardware device, which is a $129.99 pair of glasses that can shoot snippets of video. That device is expected to go on sale soon.
Over the past two years, there have been relatively few major tech IPOs, and many of the companies that have gone public in recent times have failed to gain much traction with Wall Street shareholders. Should Snap go public, it could be the biggest IPO since Chinese tech giant Alibaba went public in 2014.
Snap is part of an exclusive cluster of highly-valued venture-backed companies that are staying private longer. The cohort includes the likes of Uber, Lyft and Airbnb.
Ernst & Young has predicted 2017 will be a year when the IPO market rebounds following a quiet 2016. This year saw only 31 initial public offerings between January and May, compared to 69 during the same period in 2015 and 115 in 2014, according to Barron's.
"We're building a really robust pipeline next year, is what's happening," Ernst & Young Americas IPO markets leader Jackie Kelley told Inc. in June, clarifying that "we" referred to U.S. markets. She said she expected IPO activity in 2017 to reach 2014 levels.
-with contributions from Tess Townsend