SNAP的上市，有人预期将有200到250亿美元的市值实现，最近私募基金融资的定价在170亿美元。今天的Twitter的市值在120亿美元左右（股价在16.5左右，2014年1月时的股价在70美元多！），几天前在公司盈利报告出来之后，大量的分析师对于它的未来感觉绝望，由此就有了大量的 “卖出” 和 “回避” 推荐，将这家一度信心满满的公司，搞的是灰头灰脸。
The two views of Snapchat: Peaked or Set to Blossom
9:07 AM ET 2/14/17, By Therese Poletti
From New York to Silicon Valley to its hometown in Southern California, investors and analysts are sharply divided about Snap Inc. and its potential ahead of a highly anticipated initial public offering.
Investors are hoping that the Snapchat parent company's much hyped IPO, the first from a "unicorn" tech company this year, will revive the moribund market for IPOs. Snap is expected to seek to raise at least $3 billion, in an offering expected to value the company at $20 billion to $25 billion.
There are basically two camps emerging. One says Snap's best growth is behind it and the young company's huge losses show poor financial discipline and extremely high operating costs. These investors are betting that insiders and venture capitalists already profited from the biggest growth the company will see.
The other camp believes that Snap is THE next platform company, its biggest growth is to come, and that the company is more akin to social media giant Facebook Inc. (FB), which had a disastrous public offering but later soared once it got mobile advertising under its belt, instead of Twitter Inc.(TWTR), which looks now to have gone public at the top of its growth curve.
"This is a platform deal that every portfolio will park away," said Duncan Davidson, a general partner at Bullpen Capital, an early stage venture-capital firm in Menlo Park, Calif., adding that he was still positive on the deal even after seeing Snap's financials.
The company's results showed heady year-over-year revenue growth of 589%, but staggering costs and losses, thanks in part to heavy spending on cloud computing. It also showed some deceleration from its super high growth rates of average daily users, a point investors will ask about when the company embarks on its roadshow in the coming weeks.
"The biggest question is where are they on their growth curve and is a change in that growth curve a possible motivation for going out now?" said Lise Buyer, founder and president of Class V Group, an IPO advisory firm. "There could be a number of other reasons. Investors ought to think through the somewhat different risk/reward profile the current numbers project."
Tech investors want high growth companies and are often willing to put growth before profits, even in older, more established companies. But the problem with many of the "unicorn" companies--tech startups with private valuations of $1 billion or higher--is that the longer they stay private, while getting funding from investors at super rich valuations, the bigger the risk that public investors will miss the largest growth spurts.
'They remind me of Myspace. It's still around, but it's over," said Eric Schiffer, chairman and chief executive of the Patriarch Organization, a private-equity firm in Los Angeles that has invested in Kabam, Airbnb, Spotify and some internet service companies. "Snapchat will be around for years but it's over."
Schiffer said he does not plan to invest in the IPO, but just wants to warn investors.
"The public needs to know that there is another side of this, that it's not all pretty," he said. "If you are going to sink money in, especially your savings, you better be prepared to watch it explode into bits."
Shares in hot IPOs are notoriously hard to get, especially for retail investors, so this may not be an immediate question for those interested in owning Snap stock. Remember that Facebook declined rapidly after its IPO, and could have been picked up for minuscule prices in the first year, while Twitter soared post-IPO and is now potentially nearing rock bottom. Those experiences show that it might be better to stay on the sidelines when the deal comes out of the gate, and watch for signs of smarter financial management, indications of future growth, or just a good price.
Snap IPO: Six things to know about Snapchat parent company
Published: Feb 11, 2017 11:42 a.m. ET
At long last, the veil on Snapchat has been lifted.
Snap Inc. the parent company of messaging app Snapchat, officially filed to go public Thursday. Snap, which calls itself a “camera company,” said it plans to raise up to $3 billion, which may be a placeholder figure. Stockholders who buy into the offering will not have any voting rights.
One key question about the IPO is whether the company will surpass its private market valuation of $17.8 billion. Investors expect this offering to value the company between $20 billion and $25 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Snap reported that its ephemeral messaging service had 158 million daily active users at the end of 2016, and an average of 2.5 billion “snaps” are created on Snapchat every day.
Snap plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the proposed symbol “SNAP.”
Snapchat, an app in which users send and view “snaps,” makes money from ads on the platform and content created by third-party channels such as news organizations. It also recently introduced a hardware product, Snapchat Specs, and has a payment feature called Snapcash.
Here are six things to know about the company before it goes public:
Snap reported growing revenues and increasing losses. Snap recorded $404.5 million in revenue in 2016, compared with $58.7 million in 2015. Net losses grew to $514.6 million in 2016, compared with a net loss of $372.9 million in 2015. Like many burgeoning tech startups, Snap warned that it “may never achieve or maintain profitability.”
Snap recorded a loss from operations of $520.4 million in 2016 and a loss of $381.7 million in 2015. Its global average revenue per user for the three months ended in December 2016 was $1.06, up from 31 cents in the year-earlier period.
The majority of Snap’s revenue in 2016, 98%, came from advertising.
A young, active user base
Snap had 158 million daily active users, which it says is a “critical measure” of user engagement, as of Dec. 31, 2016. Growth in daily active users has been pressured of late, though, growing by only 7% between the second and third quarters of 2016 and relatively flat growth in the final quarter. Snap mentioned competition in their prospectus, and that decline roughly coincides with Facebook Inc.’s early August launch of Instagram Stories, a product similar to one of SnapChat’s most popular features.
User growth is important for attracting advertisers and, consequently, the majority of Snap’s revenue. The majority of Snapchat users are 18-to-34 years old, a coveted advertising demographic that the company has reportedly been luring away from sites like Facebook. Users younger than 25 are among the most active on Snapchat, visiting the app more than 20 times a day and spending more than 30 minutes a day, as of the quarter ended December 2016, Snap said.
On average, daily active users visited Snapchat more than 18 times each day and spend 25 to 30 minutes there.
Still, Snap noted that the teen demographic is not “brand loyal” and could shift attention to another platform. Already the numbers show a seasonality, with engagement lower in summer months, according to the prospectus. Also, Snap may struggle to grow its user numbers in countries or areas without the high-bandwidth-capacity cellular networks the app requires, it said.
The company has three classes of common stock and plans to offer common A stock that will not give stockholders any voting power.
Owners of class B common stock will be entitled to one vote per share and holders of class C common stock, which include co-founders Evan Spiegel, 26, and Robert Murphy, 28, are entitled to 10 votes per share. With that ownership, both parties have “the ability to control the outcome of all matters” that are sent to the stockholders for approval. The filing does not yet disclose what percentage voting power they will have after the offering.
Spiegel, the company’s chief executive, had a salary of $503,205 in 2016, with a $1 million bonus and other compensation totaling $2.4 million. Under his offer letter, he will reduce his salary to $1 as of the effective date of the registration statement, with a cash bonus of $1 million. He will also receive restricted stock units, representing 3% of outstanding capital stock, in quarterly installments for three years, beginning in the third quarter after the offering.
If either are fired, they will still have “significant” voting power. If either die, shares will convert and the other co-founder will be able to exercise voting control over outstanding stock.
Rivalries and a dependence on big companies
Snap uses Alphabet Inc’s Google Cloud for much of its computing, storage, bandwidth and other needs. To that end, on Jan. 30, 2017, just three days before the filing, Snap committed to spend $2 billion with Google Cloud over the next five years. If that relationship were disrupted, Snap said its business would be “seriously harmed.” Snap sees its hosting costs with Google or others growing as its user base and engagement grows.
In terms of competition, Snap lists Apple Inc. Alphabet’s Google and Twitter Inc. Facebook may be a more direct threat, as Snap noted the new feature on Instagram that “largely mimics” its Snap Stories. These companies have greater resources and may have the ability to draw users away from Snap, the company admitted.
“We face significant competition in almost every aspect of our business both domestically and internationally,” the prospectus said.
Many buildings, but no headquarters
Snap has been known for keeping things under wraps, even within the company. To that end, the prospectus says the company has offices spread out across the U.S. and abroad, including several principal offices in Venice, Calif.
But those principal offices are still “dispersed throughout the city,” which Snap notes could hurt employee morale, retention and the company’s ability to oversee employees. The company had 1,859 employees at the end of 2016, up from 600 in 2015.
Still, the prospectus says the company has a tightknit and “kind” team.
“When we say ’kind,’ we mean the type of kindness that compels you to let someone know that they have something stuck in their teeth even though it’s a little awkward,” the prospectus says.
Snapchat launched in 2011 as platform to quickly send selfies. Its key advantage was that the “snaps” disappeared after they were sent, so users felt “comfortable sending photos of themselves even when they don’t look pretty or perfect.”
But the platform quickly developed a reputation for “sexting,” or sending racy selfies and videos.
“When we were just getting started, many people didn’t understand what Snapchat was and said it was just for sexting, even when we knew it was being used for so much more,” the prospectus says.
Moving on from selfies, Snap added videos and then the ability to send a photo or video to all of the user’s friends, thus launching “My Stories.” They added publisher stories in January 2015, opening up the feature to organizations with editorial teams.
Since those days, Snap has added more features, including lenses that superimpose over the user’s face and geofilters, allowing an overlay for the user’s location and for brand advertising.