Current logo, unveiled on September 24, 2016 during the company's rebrand.
|Snapchat Inc. (2011–2016)|
|Traded as||NYSE: SNAP|
Class A (non-voting)
Class B (single vote, private)
Class C (10 votes, founders only, private)
|Founded||September 16, 2011(as Snapchat Inc.)|
|Michael Lynton (Chairman)|
Evan Spiegel (CEO & Director)
Bobby Murphy (CTO & Director)
Jeremi Gorman (CBO)
|Revenue||US$ 1.18 billion (2018)|
|US$ -1.237 billion (2018)|
|US$ -1.256 billion (2018)|
|Total assets||US$ 2.714 billion (2018)|
|Total equity||US$ 2.31 billion (2018)|
|Owner||Evan Spiegel & Bobby Murphy (95.8% voting power combined)|
Number of employees
|Footnotes / references|
Snap Inc. is an American camera and social media company, founded on September 16, 2011, by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy based in Santa Monica, California. It has three products: Snapchat, Spectacles, and Bitmoji. The company was originally named Snapchat Inc. upon its inception, but it was rebranded on September 24, 2016, as Snap Inc. in order to include the Spectacles product under a single company.
The founders own a combined 95% voting power (Spiegel with 48% and Murphy with 47%), which is undiluted and transferable to the other of the two when one retires or dies.
The company was founded on September 16, 2011, by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, simultaneously on the initial relaunch of Picaboo as Snapchat. On December 31, 2013, the application was hacked and 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers were leaked to the Internet. Also in December 2013, Emily White, who had formerly been a high-profile executive with Facebook, Instagram, and Google, was hired as COO. Her tenure with the company ended in March 2015.
By January 2014, the company had refused offers of acquisition, including overtures from Mark Zuckerberg to buy Snapchat and its assets, with Spiegel commenting that "trading that for some short-term gain isn’t very interesting". In May 2014, the company acquired the software company AddLive and reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) following the leak, citing misinterpretations on storage of user data and the fact that "snaps" can still be accessed regardless of its expiration. In December, the company acquired Vergence Labs for $15 million in cash and stock, who were the developers of Epiphany Eyewear, and mobile app Scan for $50 million, which was revealed during the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack.
In May 2015, the company moved from its original headquarters to a 47,000 ft2 (4,366 m2) office complex near Venice Beach and signed a 10-year lease. They were one of the first prominent social media companies to establish themselves there, alongside others such as Whisper and Tinder, giving Venice the new title of "Silicon Beach." In February 2017, two weeks before the company's IPO, The New York Times published a feature about Snap's role in turning the area into a technology hub, noting that Snap, with a total of 1,900 employees, had "already changed the face of Venice."
In March, July, and August 2016, the company acquired Bitstrips for $100 million, Obvious Engineering, the developers of Seene, for an undisclosed amount and Vurb for $100 million. Vurb formerly developed the eponymous mobile search engine. The Vurb card-based engine removed the need to switch through multiple other applications on the device to perform a task.
In September 2016, the company officially named itself Snap Inc., and unveiled smartglasses known as Spectacles. In November 2016, the company filed documents for an initial public offering (IPO) with an estimated market value of $25–35 billion. In December 2016, the company opened research and development in Shenzhen and acquired advertising and technology company Flite and Israel-based augmented reality startup Cimagine Media for $30–40 million. A partnership issued in December 2016 with Turner Broadcasting System will allow integration of Turner properties on Snapchat, while cooperating with Snap Inc. to develop original content.
In January 2017 the company announced that it had established an international headquarters in Soho, London. In early February 2017, the company officially confirmed their plans for an IPO in 2017 and its expectation to raise $3 billion. In early March 2017, the company officially went public under the trading symbol SNAP, and raised almost $30 billion in market capitalization on the first day of trading.
In late-May 2017, the company acquired the location sharing app Zenly in a cash and stock deal. The Zenly app will remain functional, but its concepts were incorporated into a Snapchat feature added in June 2017.
In October 2017, the company announced that it had formed a joint venture with NBCUniversal to produce content for Snap's platforms, and that it had signed Duplass Brothers Productions as its first partner.
On October 26, 2018 at TwitchCon, Snap launched a new desktop application for macOS and Windows known as Snap Camera. It allows users to utilize Snapchat filters via PC webcams in video chat and live streaming services such as Skype, Twitch, YouTube, and Zoom. Snap also announced additional integration with Twitch.
The company develops and maintains the image messaging and multimedia mobile app Snapchat, as well as develops and manufactures the wearable camera called Spectacles, a pair of smartglasses that connect to the user's Snapchat account and records videos in a circular video format adjustable in any orientation. On February 20, 2017, Snap Spectacles became available for purchase online. The company sold only 220,000 pairs of Snap Spectacles V1. The company developed and launched Spectacles V2 on April 2018 in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and France; and 13 more European countries in May 2018.
Snapchat app raised $485,000 in its seed round and an undisclosed amount of bridge funding from Lightspeed Ventures. By February 2013, Snapchat confirmed a $13.5 million Series A funding round led by Benchmark Capital, which valued the company at between $60 million and $70 million. In June 2013, Snapchat raised $60 million in a funding round led by venture-capital firm Institutional Venture Partners, and the firm also appointed a new high-profile board member, Michael Lynton of Sony's American division. By mid-July 2013, a media report valued the company at $860 million. On November 14, 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook offered to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion, but Spiegel declined the cash offer. Tech writer Om Malik then claimed on November 15, 2013, that Google had offered $4 billion, but Spiegel again declined. On December 11, 2013, Snapchat confirmed $50 million in Series C funding from Coatue Management. Four more funding rounds, from December 2014 to March 2016, amounted to approximately $1.2 billion and totaled funding at $1.36 billion. Beyond 2014, the company had achieved a valuation of $10–$20 billion, depending on the source. According to reports in May 2016, the company's estimated worth was said to be approaching $22 billion in the event of a new round of investment. Further reports in 2016 suggested that funding was almost at $3 billion and that Snapchat was targeting yearly revenues of a billion dollars.
2017 initial public offering
In January 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported that "people familiar with the matter" stated that Snap Inc. would share 2.5% of the money raised in an upcoming initial public offering (IPO) with the banks managing the IPO. It also reported that after the predicted March 2017 IPO, the two Snap co-founders would hold over "70% of the voting power" in the company, and own around 45% of the total stock. On January 29, 2017, it was reported that the Snap Inc. IPO would likely take place on the New York Stock Exchange. As both the NYSE and Nasdaq had been "aggressively courting the listing for more than a year," the Wall Street Journal called it "a big competitive victory for the Big Board." Snap's IPO was estimated to value the company at between $20 billion and $25 billion, the largest IPO on a US exchange since Alibaba debuted in 2014 at a value of $168 billion. Beyond the two founders, the two biggest shareholders for the planned early 2017 Snap IPO were Benchmark and Lightspeed Venture Partners, both prior investors and venture-capital firms from Silicon Valley. They held a combined stake of about 20%. On March 1, 2017, it was reported that Snap Inc. "values itself at nearly $24B with its IPO pricing". Snap Inc.'s stock started trading on March 2, 2017, under the symbol SNAP, on the New York Stock Exchange.
When Snap reported earnings for the first time in May 2017 they reported a $2.2 billion quarterly loss and the stock fell more than 20%, erasing most of the gains since the IPO.
Google reportedly offered Snap $30 billion in 2016 for acquisition, which Snap turned down.
Reggie Brown lawsuit
In February 2013, Reggie Brown sued Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy. Early investors also were eventually named in the lawsuit. Brown said that he had once been the chief marketing officer for the initial selfie app used to launch Snapchat, offering evidence of contacts with publications such as Cosmopolitan, claimed that he had come up with the original concept, which he had ultimately called Picaboo, and that he had created the mascot logo for the product while working with Spiegel to promote and market the idea. Originally titled Toyopa Group, LLC, Brown said that he had named the newly formed company as well. Brown's lawyers offered documentation of a collaboration with Spiegel and Murphy, which included the filing of an original patent by the three Stanford classmates, but Snapchat described the lawsuit as meritless and called Brown's tactics a shakedown. During April's depositions, Brown testified that he had believed he was an equal partner, and that he had agreed to share costs and profits. Spiegel instead described Brown as an unpaid intern who had been provided valuable experience, and although Murphy claimed that he had not fully understood what Brown's role was supposed to have been, he too characterized Brown's involvement as having been that of an internship. Months later, Spiegel dismissed the lawsuit as an example of opportunists who seek out rapidly successful companies in an attempt "to also profit from the hard work of others".
On 9 September 2014, the company announced that they had settled the lawsuit for an initially undisclosed amount. The settlement amount was revealed on 2 February 2017, in Snap's SEC public filling to be $157.5 million. As part of the settlement, they credited Brown with the conceptual idea for Snapchat.
The press release published by Snapchat's communication department quoted Spiegel:
"We are pleased that we have been able to resolve this matter in a manner that is satisfactory to Mr. Brown and the Company. We acknowledge Reggie's contribution to the creation of Snapchat and appreciate his work in getting the application off the ground."
The Federal Trade Commission alleged that the company had exaggerated to the public the degree to which mobile app images and photos could actually be made to disappear. Following a settlement in 2014, Snapchat was not fined, but the app service agreed to have its claims and policies monitored by an independent party for a period of 20 years.
The redesign of the Snapchat app in early 2018 made changes for which many users were not happy. Around 1.2 million people petitioned Snap, Inc. to roll back the redesign. Snap, Inc's reply makes no concessions, other than noting "We completely understand the new Snapchat has felt uncomfortable for many."
Due to the redesign and other market factors in 2018, such as the growth of Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status, Daily Active Users (DAU) of the app only rose 2% from Q4 2017. Snap, Inc. stock fell more than 15% in after hours trading following the earnings report release. Growth of daily active users slowed in Q1 2018, and the growth rate for Q2 2018 was "planned to decelerate rapidly from Q1 levels." Snap, Inc. has commented on the redesign, saying "We have also started to realise some of the positive benefits [of the redesign], including increased new user retention for older users." Some publishers feel the turn towards an older demographic spells the end for the app.
- "Snap". Forbes.
- Wagner, Kurt (February 21, 2017). "One way Snapchat's IPO will be unique: The shares won't come with voting rights". Vox.
- "Picaboo: How to send naughty photos without getting caught". Shinyshiny.tv. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- "US SEC: 2018 Form 10-K Snap Inc". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. February 5, 2019. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
- "Snap Inc". Snap Inc.
- "SNAP GROUP LIMITED - Overview (free company information from Companies House)".
- "Terms of Service – Snap Inc".
- Wagner, Kurt (June 5, 2017). "Snap just acquired Placed, a company that tracks whether online ads actually lead to offline purchases". Vox.
- Shim, David (November 2, 2017). "CEO Letter: Continued Independence, Investment, and Innovation". Placed Blog.
- "Snap's Annual Report Reminds Investors Just How Much Power CEO Evan Spiegel Has". CNBC. February 22, 2018.
- Yueng, Ken (31 December 2013). "Confirmed: Hackers exploit Snapchat's security hole, leak 4.6m usernames and phone numbers online". TheNextWeb. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- Eadicicco, Lisa (2015-03-13). "Snapchat loses its very experienced COO". 'Business Insider'. Retrieved 2015-03-15.
- Fiegerman, Seth (6 January 2014). "Snapchat CEO Reveals Why He Rejected Facebook's $3 Billion Offer". Mashable. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- Hamburger, Ellis (2 May 2014). "Snapchat made a secret acquisition to power its new video chat". The Verge. Retrieved 15 November 2016 – via Vox Media.
- "Snapchat Settles FTC Charges That Promises of Disappearing Messages Were False". Federal Trade Commission. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- Yarow, Jay; Shontell, Alyson; Cook, James (16 December 2015). "It Looks Like Snapchat Paid $15 Million To Buy A Google Glass-Like Startup". Business Insider. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
- Constine, Josh (16 December 2014). "Snapchat Plans Music Feature, Acquired QR Scan.me For $50M And Vergence Eyeglass Cam For $15M". TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 November 2016 – via AOL.
- Stone, Madeline (1 May 2015). "Snapchat gobbles up big office complex near Venice Beach with 10-year lease". Business Insider. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- Kendall, Marisa (January 7, 2017). "Snap's IPO may make Silicon Beach a worthy Silicon Valley rival". The Mercury News. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
- Graham, Jefferson (January 18, 2017). "How Snapchat has changed its hometown of Venice". USA Today. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
- Benner, Katie (February 20, 2017). "With Snap's I.P.O., Los Angeles Prepares to Embrace New Tech Millionaires". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
- Shontell, Alyson (15 September 2015). "Snapchat buys Looksery, a 2-year-old startup that lets you Photoshop your face while you video chat". Business Insider. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- Novet, Jordan (25 July 2016). "Seene shutting down 3D photo app following reported acquisition by Snapchat". VentureBeat. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- "Exclusive: Snapchat Buys Bitmoji Maker". Fortune. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2016 – via Time Inc.
- E. Lessin, Jessica; Dotan, Tom (15 August 2016). "Snapchat to Buy Vurb for More Than $100 Million". The Information. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- "About Verb". vurb.com. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
- Stevenson, Seth (24 September 2016). "Snapchat Releases First Hardware Product, Spectacles". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- Chaykowski, Kathleen (24 September 2016). "Snapchat Leaps Into Hardware, Rebrands As 'Snap Inc.'". Forbes. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- Newton, Casey (23 September 2016). "Snapchat unveils $130 connected sunglasses and rebrands as Snap, Inc". The Verge. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- Statt, Nick (15 November 2016). "Snapchat just filed for its IPO". The Verge. Retrieved 15 November 2016 – via Vox Media.
- Burgess, Matt (17 October 2016). "Snapchat reportedly gearing up for £20 billion IPO". Wired. Retrieved 15 November 2016 – via Condé Nast.
- Tom Metcalf (November 17, 2016). "Snap's IPO Will Test How Much Unicorn CEOs Are Actually Worth". 'Bloomberg.
- "Snap reportedly acquired augmented reality startup Cimagine Media for up to $40 million". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2016-12-25.
- Wagner, Kurt (19 December 2016). "Snap has acquired an ad tech company called Flite". Recode. Retrieved 21 December 2016 – via Vox Media.
- Lee, Cyrus (19 December 2016). "Snap Inc looks to land in China: Report". ZDNet. Retrieved 21 December 2016 – via CBS Interactive.
- Etherington, Darrell (21 December 2016). "Snap Inc. has a new China tech R&D office focused on Spectacles". TechCrunch. Retrieved 21 December 2016 – via AOL.
- Schwindt, Oriana (7 December 2016). "Turner Inks Deal With Snap, Inc. to Create Original Series, Launch Bleacher Report on Snapchat Discover". Variety. Retrieved 21 December 2016 – via Penske Media Corporation.
- Shieber, Jonathan (2017-01-10). "Snap crosses the pond and makes a home in the UK". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
- Kastrenakes, Jacob (2017-02-02). "Snapchat files for a $3 billion IPO". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
- Hirsch, Lauren; Somerville, Heather; Baker, Liana B. (March 2, 2017). "Snap pulls off biggest tech debut since Alibaba, rising almost 50% to $30 billion marketcap". Financial Post. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
- Constine, Josh. "Snapchat launches location-sharing feature Snap Map". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved 2017-06-23.
- Constine, Josh. "Snapchat acquires social map app Zenly for $250M to $350M". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved 2017-06-23.
- "Insiders say Google was interested in buying Snap for at least $30 billion last year". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-08-04.
- "Snap, NBCUniversal Form Studio Joint Venture, Tap Duplass Brothers for Original Shows". Variety. October 16, 2017.
- "China's Tencent bought 12 percent of Snap — and everything else we learned from Snap's earnings report". Recode. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
- "Snapchat brings its camera to the desktop to add filters to your streaming videos". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-11-06.
- Stevenson, Seth (24 September 2016). "Snapchat Releases First Hardware Product, Spectacles". Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- Savvides, Lexy (February 20, 2017). "Finally! Spectacles are available online". Adweek. San Francisco, CA. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
- Constine, Josh. "Snapchat launches Spectacles V2". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- Gallagher, Billy (October 29, 2012). "You Know What's Cool? A Billion Snapchats: App Sees Over 20 Million Photos Shared Per Day, Releases On Android". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- Primack, Dan. (June 26, 2013) Snapchat's liquidity trap – The Term Sheet: Fortune's deals blogTerm Sheet. Finance.fortune.cnn.com. Retrieved on December 9, 2013.
- "Snapchat Snaps Up A$80M Series B Led By IVP at An $800M Valuation".
- McBride, Sarah (June 24, 2013). "Snapchat lands $60 million and new board member Michael Lynton". Reuters.
- Large, Bithia (July 19, 2013). "Snapchat pivots from privacy to publicity". New Statesman. New Statesman. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- "Snapchat Spurned $3 Billion Acquisition Offer from Facebook". Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- "Snapchat Allegedly Rejected $4B Buyout Offer From Google". Retrieved November 15, 2013.
- "Snapchat Raises $50 Million in Series C From Coatue Management". Retrieved December 11, 2013.
- Snapchat Overview, "Snapchat", Crunchbase.com, March, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
- Ingrid Lunden. "Snapchat Has Raised $485 More From 23 Investors, At Valuation Of Up To $20". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
As of May 24th, 2016, Snapchat was estimated to be worth $22 billion.
- Katie Roof, "Snapchat is raising more money $20 billion", techcrunch, May 24, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
- Ingrid Lunden Katie Roof, "Snapchat raised $1.8B in a Series F round; leaked deck reveals revenues, user numbers", Techcrunch, May 26, 2016. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- Farrell, Maureen (January 20, 2017), Snapchat Parent Plans to Pay Banks 2.5% of IPO Proceeds, New York: The Wall Street Journal, retrieved January 22, 2017
- Farrell, Maureen (January 29, 2017), NYSE to Win IPO Prize: Listing of Snap, New York City: Wall Street Journal, retrieved January 31, 2017
- Winkler, Rolfe (February 3, 2017), Snap IPO Will Mint Fortunes for Founders, Two Big Investors, New York City: Wall Street Journal, retrieved January 4, 2017
- Lynley, Matthew (March 1, 2017), Snap values itself at nearly $24B with its IPO pricing, TechCrunch by Verizon (AOL), retrieved March 1, 2017
- Barinka, Alex; Frier, Sarah (March 1, 2017). "Snap IPO Values Fading-Photo App Maker at Twice Facebook's Worth". Bloomberg News. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
- Benner, Katie (May 11, 2017). "In Snap Inc.'s Tumble, Start-Ups See a Warning From Wall Street". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
- Constine, Josh (August 3, 2017). "Google reportedly offered $30 billion to acquire Snapchat". TechCrunch. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
- Karl Taro Greenfield,"The Billion Dollar Battle for Snapchat" Archived 2016-08-23 at the Wayback Machine, Playboy, February 25, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
- Jim Edwards,"Photos Texts And Emails Show The Alleged Betrayal At The Heart Of Snapchat", Business Insider, August 11, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
- Billy Gallagher, "The Snapchat Lawsuit, Or How To Lose Your Best Friend Over $70 Million", Techcrunch, March 7, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
- Alyson Shontell, "These Leaked Videos Could Lead To A Huge Payday For Ousted Snapchat Co-Founder", Business Insider, Nov 6, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
- Alyson Shontell, "SNAPCHAT LAWSUIT VIDEOS: After A 37-Second Pause, Snapchat's CEO Describes Regrets About The Friend He Ousted", Business Insider, Nov 25, 2013. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
- sfg,"3 Must-Watch Videos Show Why The Guy Suing Snapchat Could Win Millions Of Dollars
- Etan Smallman, "How Metro Was Ushered From Snapchat", metro.co.uk, Nov 28, 2013. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
- "News – Page 7 – Snap Inc".
- Lynley, Matthew. "Snap has finally filed publicly for its massive IPO". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
- "S-1". www.sec.gov. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
- Mary Ritti (9 September 2014). "Snapchat and Reggie Brown Resolve Dispute" (Press release). Business Wire. Business Wire. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- Andrea Peterson, "Snapchat agrees to settle FTC charges that it deceived users", The Washington POST, May 8, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- Angulo, Ingrid (2018-02-12). "Here's why Snapchat users are so upset about its recent redesign". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
- Hern, Alex (2018-02-23). "Kylie Jenner helps to wipe $1bn from Snapchat with tweet over redesign woes". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
- "Snap responds to the 1.2 million petition signers who hate the redesign". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
- "Snapchat responds to the Change.org petition complaining about the app's redesign". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
- Peterson, Becky (2018-02-22). "Snap tells the 1.2 million people who signed a petition to remove the latest Snapchat update that they're out of luck". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
- "Snapchat slips in Q1 to its slowest user growth rate ever, shares fall 15%". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
- "In One Tweet, Kylie Jenner Wiped Out $1.3 Billion of Snap's Market Value". Bloomberg.com. 2018-02-22. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
- Fiegerman, Kaya Yurieff and Seth. "Snapchat user growth stagnant amid redesign backlash". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
- Wolverton, Troy (2018-05-02). "Snapchat users hate the redesign so much, it could have turned away millions of users". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
- Hayes, Dade (2018-05-01). "Snap Inc. Posts Slowest Quarterly User Growth In Its History; Shares Plunge". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
- "Older Users Seem To Like The New Snapchat, And That's About The Only Good News Snap Shared Today". Gizmodo Australia. 2018-05-02. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
- Duprey, Rich. "Forget Snapchat's Redesign, This Trend May Kill the App". The Motley Fool. Retrieved 2018-07-21.