Founded by three Stanford University students, Snap Inc.'s (SNAP) Snapchat, has become one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, with 186 million active daily users according to the company's Q3 2018 earnings. Snapchat took social media by storm with photos that delete themselves a few seconds after being sent to a friend. In its ongoing war against Facebook-owned (FB) Instagram and Twitter (TWTR), Snap Inc. is looking to reinvent itself.
But that reinvention didn't really go as planned as a redesign for the app has been widely criticized. Since rival Instagram released its "Instagram Stories" feature in August 2016, Snapchat has struggled to increase its user base and generate sufficient ad revenue. On August 7, 2018, Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal surprised investors by announcing that he had purchased 2.3% of Snap. Talal made the $250 million investment on May 25 at the cost of about $11 per share. "Snapchat is one of the most innovative social media platforms in the world and we believe it has only just begun to scratch the surface of its true potential and we are blessed to be part of it,” said Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal.
The company reported record-high revenues of $298 million in Q3 2018, up 43% from $207.9 million in Q3 2017. Even so, as of October 25, 2018 Snap Inc.'s market cap was $8.93 billion, roughly a third of the company's value when it went public in March 2017.
Here are the top three individual shareholders of Snap.
Robert ("Bobby") Murphy
One of the youngest billionaires on the planet (with a net worth of $2.9B), the 30-year-old Bobby Murphy conceived of his photo-sharing app with Kappa Sigma fraternity brother Evan Spiegel. Murphy and Spiegel turned that idea into a global phenomenon, and Murphy has served as the chief technology officer since the inception of the company. As of an SEC filing dated December 31, 2017, Murphy is the top shareholder in Snap, holding 87.9 million shares of the company directly. Murphy owns an additional 5.86 million shares indirectly through a trust.
The public face of Snap, Evan Spiegel has gained a reputation as a disruptor in the tech industry. Spiegel is perhaps best known for turning down Mark Zuckerberg's offer to buy Snapchat for $3 billion. At 28, Spiegel shares many similarities with frenemy Zuckerberg: a former college friend who wants credit for the company, becoming a billionaire (with a net worth of $1.6 billion as of October 2018) in his early 20s, and a "move fast and break things" approach to product iteration. Spiegel is the second-largest individual shareholder in Snap, with 81.4 million shares held directly and another 5.8 million shares held indirectly through a trust, according to a filing with the SEC on August 31, 2018.
Joining Snap in early 2015, the 41-year-old Imran Khan was long seen as the resident grown-up in the Snap house. Khan made headlines a few years before his move to Snap when he organized Alibaba Corp's (BABA) IPO in 2014, and he had a plan to bring the same strategy to Snap's public debut. He served as the chief strategy officer for Snap until his departure from the company in September 2018 and has amassed a large pool of Snap stock for himself. Khan has a reported 7.9 million shares according to his latest filing with the SEC on October 1, 2018, making the former CSO the third-largest individual shareholder of Snap Inc.