Snap crosses the pond and makes a home in the UK

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In a different kind of British invasion, Snap (the company that launched 1,000 ephemeral selfies) has planted its disappearing flag in the UK for its international home-away-from-home as it preps for an initial public offering in the U.S.

“I am happy to confirm that the UK is the Snap Inc. Family’s hub outside of the U.S.,” a spokeswoman confirmed in an email to TechCrunch.

News of the move first appeared in the Financial Times.

Brexit fears be damned, the company has brought its ghostly galleon ashore on the British Isles as it continues an aggressive push to hit up to $1 billion in sales for 2017, according to our earlier reporting.

The company chose the UK as its international base primarily because that’s where its advertising clients and roughly 10 million of its international content creators are snapping, according to a company spokeswoman.

Snap has been staffing up steadily over the past two years in the UK, increasing its headcount from a skeleton crew of 6 to a staff of 75 as of January 2017.

In an elegant bit of shade-throwing, the FT cast Snap’s move as a nod to better corporate citizenship than its high-tech peers (I wonder where they got that notion?).

But as the EU and the US both look to get tough on artful tax dodgers, Snap may not be so much of a model for modern corporate munificence as late-comer avoiding the pitfalls on a path laid out by other earlier trailblazers into the UK and Europe.

In the UK, Snap group Ltd. (the company’s operating entity) will book revenue from sales made to UK customers. And in countries where there’s no local entity or salesforce, customers will be served by the UK staff and Snap also will book those international sales through its UK entity.

The company’s UK quarters will be in London’s entertainment and advertising hub in Soho and the team there will be led by general manager Claire Valoti — a former Mindshare and Facebook exec.

Europe accounts for roughly one-third of the over 150 million daily active users on Snapchat (I’m one and you can find me at Cheever99).

For Snap, the move to Europe is yet another sign that the social media darling of the tweenage set is all growed up as it preps for an initial public offering that could value the company at as much as $25 billion.