Snap IPO valuation comes in at $16.2-$18.5B, below expectations

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Snap Inc., the maker of the Snapchat messaging application, isn’t worth quite as much as investors had expected, at least for the moment.

In a new filing Thursday for its expected initial public offering of shares, the company said it would sell 200 million shares for between $14 and $16 per share, giving it a valuation range of $16.2 billion to $18.5 billion. According to Bloomberg, that’s below the previously predicted range of $20 billion to $25 billion and below earlier predictions that Snap could go public on a valuation as high as $40 billion.

In total, Snap is looking to raise up to $3.2 billion from the IPO. However, the numbers could change when the company finally lists. Snap goes into its IPO with earnings and forward predictions that have given some observers pause, including escalating losses that totaled over a half-billion dollars in 2016. The company warned investors, “We have incurred operating losses in the past, expect to incur operating losses in the future, and may never achieve or maintain profitability.”

At the same time, a recent survey found that nearly half of all American adults think that Snapchat is “just a fad,” while 62 percent of existing Snapchat users believe that a better app will come out that they will use instead of Snapchat. Some disagree with the negative outlook, however, with Silicon Republic’s Colm Gorey noting that Snap has had a “monumental rise to stardom” and that in 2017 the company is expecting to earn $1 billion in 2017.

For its part, Snap has newly positioned itself for the IPO as a “camera company.” It put forth its vision of the company in a video just released ahead of its “roadshow” for investors.

A list date for Snap has yet to be settled upon, but it’s expected the company will go public sometime in March. It’s widely watched by tech investors because it could be a bellwether for tech IPOs, which sputtered last year. Investors have high expectations of a more robust IPO environment this year.

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