The rumors are flying around vanishing messaging app Snapchat, both on and off Secret. These rumors hold that Microsoft and Snapchat are in acquisition talks, though we can’t really grok why they would be, other than that the situation would make a great plot point in the inevitable Snapchat movie (“The Sexting Network”?).
According to people familiar with Microsoft, there is little chance of these talks going through, or if they are even happening. And maybe they were just chatting about the Windows Phone?
We also keep hearing the company is in the process of raising another round of funding. According to one source, the raise will be an over-$100 million Series D to follow the $50 million Series C led by Coatue Management last fall. The new round would value the company at $10 billion, according to our sources.
Per reports, one of the high-profile investors looking at the deal was Alibaba, but those talks fizzled out. Corroborating these reports, Snapchat filed a document earlier this month authorizing a sale of 17.4 million of its shares, at a fraction of a cent.
We are hearing that the Snapchat quest for more cash is ongoing, and that the L.A.-based company has been talking to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in addition to New York-based hedge funds like General Atlantic and Tiger Global.
[Update: We’ve subsequently heard, and the WSJ is reporting, that Kleiner has agreed to invest. The WSJ is reporting a $20 million raise. Snapchat’s comment: “The valuation of our business and our capital requirements are the least exciting aspects of supporting the Snapchat community. We have no further comment at this time.”]
Snapchat most likely needs the money to launch and bolster Snapchat Discovery and other monetization efforts — perhaps a Snapchat ad network?
According to the WSJ, Snapchat Discovery is a media play that would position ads against ephemeral content like news and video clips. MailOnline, the web version of Daily Mail, has been outed as a Snapchat Discovery partner, and viral behemoth BuzzFeed, during its last funding announcement, made brief mention of one day being able to Snapchat its content.
Disclosure: My significant other works at General Catalyst, an early investor in Snapchat.