At $17 a share, Snap hopes to raise $3.4 bn in IPO

Indo Asian News Service

Los Angeles, March 2 (IANS) Touted as one of the biggest technology IPOs in the US since Alibaba, Snap -- the parent company of the popular photo-sharing app Snapchat -- has priced its initial public offering at $17 a share -- hoping to raise nearly $3.4 billion, media reports said.

Snap, with a reported market value of nearly $24 billion, was set to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, Los Angeles Times reported late on Wednesday.

Founded by a college dropout Evan Spiegel, Snap Inc's IPO is one of the highest-profile stock debuts in recent years along with Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba (that raised nearly $22 billion in 2014) and social media giant Facebook (which raised $16 billion in 2012).

"Snap's IPO has spurred great interest because few tech companies went public last year amid a shaky market, and none have debuted on the stock market this year," the report said.

"It's also the first to go public among a class of companies, including Uber, Airbnb and Pinterest, that have been valued at more than $10 billion while still privately held," it added.

Launched in 2011, Snapchat currently has 158 million daily users.

Snapchat aims to derive most of its revenue from advertising where it will compete against Google, Facebook and Twitter.

Snap Inc recently rolled out major changes in its app that will make it easier to navigate the app with a universal search bar that's always accessible at the top of the app.

The much-anticipated video recording 'Spectacles' from Snapchat are also available online for users in the US at $129.99.

Snapchat 'Spectacles' record video and pair to user's phone over Bluetooth or WiFi which can then be uploaded to the user's Snapchat account.

According to reports, 'Spectacles' come with a charging case and cable in three shades including black, coral red and teal blue.