On it’s first day of trading Snap Inc, the company behind the disappearing message app Snapchat, saw their stocks soar to 44% making the value of their company stand at $28 billion. Opening on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, the company saw their share’s price rise a staggering 41% from its initial guide price of $17 a share up to $24 thus catapulting the co-founders Evan Speigel and Bobby Murphy into the top tier of tech billionaires.
Snapchat’s initial public offering (IPO) was the biggest market debut since 2014 when Chinese online retailer Alibaba began trading and comes as good news for shareholders who believe that the sale of Snapchat will persuade successful companies such as Uber and Airbnb to list publicly. This makes them a serious rival for Facebook who, along with their subsidiaries, have cloned many of Snapchat’s features in the past few months. Regardless, Snapchat user figures are still a lot lower at roughly 158 million in comparison with Facebook’s 1 billion +. Snapchat’s growth has witnessed a recent lull recently and although revenues have grown, (from $58.7m in 2015 to $404.5m in 2016) there has also been losses that mounted to $514 million in 2016 from a previous $373 million the year before.
Spiegel’s model fiancée Miranda Kerr showed her support after the bell was rung, taking selfies (on Snapchat of course) with her friends on the trading floor. Spiegel is now worth more than $5.4 billion which is an impressive feat from an idea that was first formed during a school project while he was studying at Stanford. He dropped out of school in 2012 to focus on launching the app and in 2013 Facebook offered to buy the app from Spiegel for $3 billion. This decision was obviously the best one to make. When the Los Angeles Times asked him how he felt, he replied with ‘It’s exciting’. Maybe that was a bit of an understatement.