In recent years, companies have begun filing confidentially for their initial public offerings well ahead of revealing their financial guts in the formal IPO process. That gives a time window between the SEC getting the documents and them becoming available for public scrutiny, both from industry watchers and potential investors. It doesn’t mean that an IPO is absolutely imminent — the company could go public as early as March, as previously reported — but it does mean that the company is going through the motions to get out there.
Companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenue can file confidentially with the SEC under the JOBS act.
With that, it looks like the anticipation for Snapchat’s IPO is coming in about as much as expected. The company has 150 million daily active users and has rapidly become one of the most enticing new advertising platforms for marketers. Snapchat also has an opportunity to steal momentum from Facebook and other platforms that are now under scrutiny as a result of the prevalence of fake news following the presidential election.
Snapchat is already targeting as much as $1 billion in revenue for 2017, according to leaked documents acquired by TechCrunch. It’s estimating between $250 million and $350 million this year, according to those documents. At the same time, platforms like Pinterest are missing some earlier projections, and Facebook is telling investors that it is reaching its maximum advertising load as its growth starts to cap. All this means Snapchat has an opportunity to snap up advertising dollars, making it even more valuable in the eyes of investors.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Snapchat filed the papers before the presidential election. But given the news that’s come following the election, it may be that Snapchat looks even more appealing to investors if it can hold onto the trust of its user base and be able to steal users away from existing networks. It’s expected to be valued between $20 billion and $25 billion, according to that report.
It was earlier reported that Snapchat was looking to raise as much as $4 billion in its initial public offering that could value it between $25 billion and $35 billion. That could be as much as double its previous valuation, when it raised $1.8 billion in a financing round in May earlier this year. All these discussions are generally tactics to gauge interest from investors and drum up excitement for the company, though now it appears things are starting to get more formal.
A representative from Snapchat declined to comment.