Just hours before midnight on New Years Eve, Snapchat declared to the SEC a $485.6 million Series D round. Silent all 2014 about their funding activities, the disappearing photo and message app company also confirmed in the filing that it had raised investments from a total of 23 different investors. Reportedly, some of Snapchat’s investors include Yahoo, Alibaba and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Snapchat has declined to comment on the funding round.
According to Dow Jones VentureSource, Snapchat’s $485.6 million round is the 10th largest raise in US history. In total, Snapchat has raised about $648 million to date and is reportedly valued at over $10 billion dollars.
If reports are true, Snapchat’s 23 investors come from a variety of industries and places. A diverse group of stakeholders could be helpful to Snapchat’s growth. For example, Snapchat may be able to find an easier entry into the Chinese market with help from Alibaba’s Chinese market power and close connections with Chinese government officials. Other American tech companies have had difficulty with the Chinese government. Facebook is banned and Google’s Gmail and search engine is routinely blocked or slowed in China.
Besides taking on a large round of investment, Snapchat was also quite busy in 2014 launching several new products. In June, Snapchat launched “Our Stories,” a curated stream of snaps from users attending events like the World Cup, the Electric Daisy Festival, an electronic dance music event, and Diwali, the Indian festival of lights. In October, the company launched its first paid advertising feature, a sort of native advertisement that users choose to view. And in November, Snapchat launched SnapCash, an in-app cash transfer feature.
Not bad for a company that in November 2013 reportedly turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook.
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