Now that Snap Inc, owner of photo messaging app Snapchat has filed confidentially for an IPO, their co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy could finally get an accurate indicator of what their unicorn is really worth, according to Bloomberg. (See also, Snap Inc Has Reportedly Filed for an IPO).
For its market listing, Snapchat is seeking to raise funding that could value the company between $20 billion and $25 billion. That target valuation is a 40% premium hike over its value in the private market, says Bloomberg.
Spiegel and Murphy's success at meeting that target could play a key role in determining the rising or sinking value of an estimated $31 billion in stakes that the eight co-founders of Snap, Uber, Airbnb and Spotify--have in their respective companies. (See also, Billion-Dollar Babies: World's Most Valuable Startups).
Uber's co-founders, Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick, reportedly have a stake of $6.7 billion in the seven-year-old ride-hailing app, which has a valuation of $68 billion.
Airbnb founders Nathan Blecharcyzk, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia each have a $3.6 billion stake in the eight-year-old apartment-sharing marketplace, currently valued at $30 billion.
And, Spotify's Martin Lorentzon has a $1 billion stake in the 10-year-old music streaming service valued at $8 billion while co-founder Daniel Ek falls short of the billionaire classification with a $825 million stake. (All of the aforementioned data was provided by Equidate and Bloomberg Billionaires Index.)
If Snap is able to launch a blockbuster IPO, that will clearly bode well for all of these young tech billionaires; if not, the alternative may not be so auspicious: the market could fall, along with the aggregate wealth of the unicorn founders.
Since the November 8th election of Donald Trump, the S&P 500 Information Technology Index has slipped because of chatter that the incoming President's policies on trade and immigration could hamper future revenue. And here's another omen for the industry: The Bloomberg U.S. Startups Barometer, which measures the "overall health of the business environment for private technology companies based in the U.S," has plunged to 21% from its peak in June 2015.
Following suit, some industry observers are choosing to be realistic. Speaking to Bloomberg News, Rob Enderle, an analyst at Enderle Group, a technology consultancy in Bend, Oregon, said, “Private market valuations are stratospheric. Big unicorns are sucking all the air out of the room, and I’m not sure whether they can sustain these kind of valuations post-IPO.”