Snapchat is looking forward to raise as much as $500 million that would value the company at $16 billion to $19 billion. Executives are in advanced discussions with fund managers.
The value is also close to the $22 billion that Facebook paid last year for WhatsApp, a messaging app that now has 700 million users. In 2013, Snapchat had rejected an acquisition offer from Facebook for USD 3 billion.
As per a Bloomberg report, it also has been developing new features to make it an entertainment destination,a strategy that could help it lure more viewers and sell more ads.
Apart from this, Snapchat has raised six rounds of investment, and secured a total funding of $648 million till date. It is backed by 11 investors and was launched in May, 2011 by Co-Founders Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel. The app allows to take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and share a moment with friends.
According to a recent report by comScore, Snapchat is now the third most popular app among millennials (18-34 year olds) at 32.9% penetration, led by Facebook (75.6%) and Instagram (43.1%) among smartphone users.
Other apps are also included in this space such as LINE, Kakao Talk, Whatsapp, WeChat, Kik, Tango, Viber etc.,which attract hundreds of millions of users.
The four major competitors of Snapchat are 4INFO, Tawkers, Tackk and ChatApp.