Snapchat raises a fresh round of funding --  but with its valuation unchanged from last year

Evan spiegelLucas Jackson/Reuters PicturesSnapchat CEO Evan Spiegel.

Snapchat has raised $175 million from Fidelity Investments at a $16 billion valuation, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Snapchat’s last round of funding in May 2015 reportedly valued the company at $16 billion.

The new funding is technically part of that same round, according to the WSJ, as Snapchat had set aside some additional shares at the time that it could sell in the future.

But the fact that Snapchat wasn’t able to get a higher valuation for the company with the sale of these shares is likely to fan worries that the once red-hot period of growth for internet companies is coming to an end.

Sign of trouble?

Fidelity has already written down the value of Snapchat and other private internet company holdings in recent months, and high-profile startups such as Zenefits have laid off employees. Some startups have shut down entirely.

Whether these are isolated incidents or the beginnings of a broader slowdown in the internet market is a subject of intense debate, even among those closest to the action.

Snapchat is one of the most popular apps among the millennial age group, with more than 100 million users viewing 8 billion videos on the service every day.

Snapchat counts Alibaba, Yahoo and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers among its financial backers thought it has yet to prove that it can build a profitable business. Earlier this week Snapchat poached a seasoned ad exec from Facebook.

Right now, the company makes money by charging brands to sponsor videos or photos in its Live Stories section, or create their own custom photo filters called “Lenses.”

Neither Snapchat or Fidelity was immediately available for comment.

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