IPO is expected to be the "biggest initial public offering ever for a Los Angeles company".
In its filing late today with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Snap said it now had 158 million people using Snapchat on a daily basis. and that over 2.5 billion Snaps are created every day.
Despite the commitment to cloud spending and future growth, the IPO filing revealed that Snap Inc made a loss of $515 million (£412m) previous year and only generated a revenue of $404 million (£323m) for 2016. Its net loss swelled to $514.64 million vs. $372.89 million.
Snapchat has 158 million daily users, up from 153 at the end of Q3 and 143 million at the end of Q2 and 122 million at the end of Q1, suggesting a slowdown in user growth in late 2016.
The company is notoriously secretive about its accounts, so the filing was the first real look into Snap's finances. What can also be called augmented reality, Snapchat cutely lets users overlay graphics such as dog ears and warped eyes in real-time over both photos and videos. What's more, users open the app more than 18 times a day and its users send 2.5 billion messages and images every day. The two founders, Evan Spiegel, chief executive, and Bobby Murphy, chief technology officer, will control the company and continue to do so even if they step down. Venture capital firms Benchmark Capital Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners, which have 131 million and 86 million shares respectively, will make $2.1 billion and $1.4 billion.
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However, Snap lost $514 million previous year, making the company still not profitable. This TechCrunch article, published just earlier this week, explains how there has been a decline in the usage of Snapchat Stories since Instagram Stories launched. "After this offering, we and our co-founders have each pledged to donate up to 13,000,000 shares of our Class A common stock to the Snap Foundation over the course of the next 15 to 20 years".
According to Snap's regulatory filing, the company's losses are widening as it grows revenue. Snapchat cited inexperience in the hardware market (Spectacles), maintaining daily active user growth and competition with Facebook, Google and others as risk factors.
For one thing, Snap is losing an absolute shitton of money. The company's S-1 suggests that Snapchat believes it's not a social network or mobile app.
Though the structure has drawn some criticism for not giving stock market investors the opportunity to have input, some people close to the company have argued that investors can "vote with their feet" by not buying into the IPO if they are not comfortable with the arrangements.
Ken Bertsch, CII executive director, said Snap's listing would encourage stock exchanges outside the USA to reconsider their ban on dual-class listings in order to win IPO business.