It may have seemed strange when Snapchat turned down Facebook's reported $3 billion buyout offer last year, but here's the reason why: the startup is now raising money at a valuation of nearly $10 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. Back in May, the venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins reportedly committed to investing up to $20 million in Snapchat at this high valuation. At least one other investor is also said to be taking part in this round of funding, which reportedly is not yet closed. Alibaba was previously reported to be involved as well, though it's now said to have passed. Snapchat has raised several rounds of funding prior to this, but all at a lower valuation.
"Capital requirements are the least exciting aspects of supporting the Snapchat community."
This new valuation easily places Snapchat among the most highly valued tech startups around — perhaps a surprising fact given that Snapchat isn't yet bringing in money. That's expected to change soon, however. The Journal previously reported that a service called Snapchat Discovery is being prepared for launch this November, and that it'll display articles, videos, and ads to users of the app. Existing newspapers, magazines, and TV networks would reportedly provide content for Discovery, which will reportedly work much like existing snaps do. Snapchat also has what appears to be a pretty big audience ready to consume all of that: a recent Pew study found that over a quarter of 18-29 year olds are using it.
Startups quite often hit a rough patch when they begin introducing advertisements into their previously ad-free service, but Snapchat has largely been on a winning streak as far as introducing new elements to its app goes. Still, the funding will provide Snapchat with a lot more leeway as it begins evolving into a more mature (and sustainable) product — and Snapchat is trying to keep the story focused on the app, not the company. "The valuation of our business and our capital requirements are the least exciting aspects of supporting the Snapchat community," a Snapchat spokesperson tells the Journal, when asked for comment on its funding report. "We have no further comment at this time."