Snap Inc., the owner of the popular ephemeral messaging mobile app Snapchat, is about to get one step closer to finalizing its long-awaited initial public offering (IPO), and they want potential investors to know that the company will eventually be much more than a messaging app. Sources familiar with some of the plans for the company’s upcoming IPO roadshow have explained to the Wall Street Journal that Snap executives will try to sell the company as the next Facebook. With this strategy they hope to get a stronger valuation, and ease the fears of some investors who worry that the company may follow the same downhill path as Twitter Inc. (TWTR). (For related reading, see: An Overvalued Snapchat Could Boost Facebook.)
While making presentations to various analysts and fund managers on the future equity offering, Snap representatives are expected to be ready to defend their proposed valuation of $20 billion to $25 billion. A recent article in Barron’s reported that Snap Inc. would record roughly $300 million in revenues for the year end 2016, while the Wall Street Journal reports that the company is hoping to gross just under $1 billion in 2017.
While those figures are undoubtedly impressive for a company that was founded a little more than five years ago, they still may not be enough to justify a $25 billion valuation. Dan Morgan, a senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust Co, explained to the Journal that Facebook and Twitter’s IPO price were valued at a multiple of 19.4 and 13 times advertising revenue respectively. He noted that Snap would be trading at more than 26 times ad revenue if they were successful at getting a $25 billion valuation. (For more, see also: How Snapchat Makes Money.)
James Cakmak, an analyst at the equity research firm Monness Crespi Hardt, shared with Barron’s his belief that Snap would be able to meet their ambitious revenue targets for next year.
“There are several reasons to have confidence, including an enhanced ability to capture brand dollars as demos over individuals are targeted, premium content deals boosting engagement from an influx of public offering dollars, and more control over advertising versus peers,” Cakmak explained.