Snapchat has never received a formal acquisition offer, its CEO Evan Spiegel told TechCrunch yesterday.
Snapchat is a popular app that lets users send disappearing photo messages. There are 350 million photos shared per day on Snapchat.
Given that Spiegel says he’s spoken with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg multiple times, the statement is surprising.
It’s well known that Spiegel and Zuckerberg met in 2012, right before Christmas and just a few weeks before Facebook came out with a direct Snapchat competitor called Poke. Poke sat on top of the Apple App Store for a day before it was brushed off as a Snapchat clone. It’d be easy to think that Zuckerberg had offered to buy Snapchat then, but Spiegel says that wasn’t the case. (He also says that while he and Zuckerberg have talked, they don’t Snapchat with each other).
“It’s certainly scary when a giant enters your space,” Spiegel told TechCrunch writer Jordan Crook about the Poke launch. “It really showed that the Snapchat community is special. It was fun to see all the Snapchatters around the world be like, ‘Come on man!’ So that was great. We now talk about [Poke] as the greatest Christmas present we ever got.”
The fact that Snapchat hasn’t had any formal offers is also surprising given that it recently raised a $US60 million round of financing. It’s often the case that when startups raise money, acquisition offers roll in. That’s what happened to Instagram. Immediately after it closed a $US50 million round of funding Facebook swooped in with a formal acquisition offer.
During Snapchat’s last round of financing, the founders reportedly took multiple millions off the table too, making them independently wealthy despite what happens to the company in the future. Investors let some founders do this to keep them focused on building a long-term business rather than a buy out with an immediate payout. Acquisition offers sometimes prompt investors to do this.
Spiegel’s statement doesn’t mean Snapchat has never had buyout discussions. It might just mean Spiegel hasn’t been given any paperwork to sign or turn down.