Chinese e-commerce marketplace Alibaba is investing $200 million in photo messaging app Snapchat, which values the Los Angeles-based company at around $15 billion.
In February this year, Snapchat had also announced that it is looking forward to raise as much as $500 million that would value the company at $16 billion to $19 billion. This development appears to be a part of the same plan.
Chinese social networking and entertainment company, Tencent had also invested in Snapchat in 2013 and in the same year, the company had rejected an acquisition offer from Facebook for $3 billion in 2013.
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.
In November 2014, Snapchat launched a service that allows users send money to each other, in a partnership with online payments company Square. In January this year, it began carrying videos and articles from media outlets CNN and ESPN, bringing the company in closer competition with Facebook and Twitter Inc.