‘Cameras augment the way that we talk’ — Snapchat just dropped its roadshow video

Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. just released its roadshow materials, including a 35-minute video, providing an important look into how the company sees itself — and how it will pitch itself to investors.

Snap is planning to go public on March 1 and seeking a valuation of $US22 billion.

“Snap is a camera company,” CEO Evan Spiegel said in the video.

Historically, cameras provided a way for people to keep memories, he said. “Now, cameras augment the way that we talk.”

He compared his product to the keyboard and its impact on the computer. “With Snapchat, the camera has become the primary input for the phone,” Spiegel said.

Evan Spiegel
Evan Spiegel. Snap Inc.

Spiegel and his management team, including chief strategy officer Imran Khan and CFO Drew Vollero, will officially kick off meetings with investors, known as the roadshow, on Friday. They will speak with smaller investors in the Mid-Atlantic, before going to London on Monday and New York on Tuesday and Wednesday.

They will continue to travel throughout the US until the intended pricing date on March 1.

Vollero will play a backseat role, according to one person familiar with the matter. Khan will present mainly on the company’s business model, while Spiegel will talk about the product itself.

In a management meeting with sales people on Thursday morning, Spiegel said he spends 50% of his time focused on the product, 40% of his time recruiting, and 10% on things he doesn’t want to do but gets paid to do (that is, running the rest of the business).

In larger group meetings, they are expected to simply present this video and then take questions — much like Facebook did during its IPO roadshow.

Bobby Murphy
Snap CTO Bobby Murphy. Snap Inc.

The management team is expected to emphasise quality of engagement over quantity of users, according to the person familiar with the matter. Rather than focusing exclusively on growing the number of users, Snap would rather users really enjoy the product. Spiegel is focused on innovating the product to make it more usable, and continues to believe that in order to do so, users must have higher-end phones.

Snapchat works best on iPhones, and while some problems persist on Android and other phones, Spiegel says he will not dilute the product to make it work on every phone, this person said. So unlike Facebook, which has nearly 2 billion users around the world, Snap will not focus on non-iPhone-using customers in places like the developing world, because those markets are not easily monetized. The logic is that advertisers want to reach North America and develop Europe rather than rest of world.

“It’s about being able to communicate how you feel and doing that in the moment,” Spiegel said in the roadshow video.

Watch the full thing here »

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