Snap Prices Shares at $17 for Thursday's IPO

Snap Prices Shares at $17 for Thursday's IPO

Snap's valuation could be as high as $24 billion, the largest for a US-based tech company since Facebook went public.

Snap's IPO also is the first notable tech IPO of 2017.

"One of the challenges that we've encountered over time is to explain to people why bigger isn't better", Evan Spiegel, Snap's CEO and cofounder, said in a presentation to investors ahead of the IPO.

Last week, Editor Maddy Johnson and Content Writer Ryan McQueeney, hosts of the Zacks Friday Finish Line podcast, previewed Snap's IPO on their show. For now, Snap is expected to set a $14 to $16 price per share, which would translate to a massive $22.2 billion valuation.

Nonvoting shares means that investors who buy Snap stock, which will trade under the ticker SNAP on the New York Stock Exchange, won't be very attractive to activist investors.

The book was more than 10 times oversubscribed and Snap could have priced the IPO at as much as $19 a share, but the company wanted to focus on securing mutual funds as long-term investors rather than hedge funds looking to quickly sell, the source said.

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Moreover, 26-year-old Spiegel will continue to hold a stake of about 17 percent in the company, valued at $4.05 billion.

Those numbers make Snap Inc.'s IPO the biggest in the USA since 2014, according to MarketWatch, and the biggest social media IPO since Twitter's 2013 offering, according to Bloomberg. The company has signed multi-billion deals with Google and Amazon for their cloud computing powers.

According to the Snap's filing, the company had revenue of $404.5 million in 2016, up from $58.7 million in 2015.

According to the filing, 158 million people use Snapchat daily, and over 2.5 billion Snaps are created every day. Twitter, which only reports monthly active users, had 218 million when it went public.

Despite a almost 7-fold increase in revenue, the Los Angeles-based company's net loss jumped 38 percent previous year. Overall, Spiegel will still be the one who's in control of the company's future.

Snapchat's parent company is expected to be valued at about $24 billion in its IPO, setting a high bar bar for a company that lost $515 million a year ago.

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