REPORT: Here comes the Snapchat IPO

Snap Inc., the company formerly known as Snapchat, is working on an IPO for March that would value the company at $25 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The company last raised $1.81 billion in private funding in May that pegged its valuation at between $18 and $22 billion.

When reached by Business Insider, Snap declined to comment on the company’s IPO plans.

“We aren’t going to comment on rumours or speculations about any financing plans or alternatives,” a spokesperson said.

The Information previously reported that the company was looking to go public as soon as later this year or in early 2017.

Snap has told investors that it expects to make between $250 and $350 million in advertising revenue this year, according to The Journal. A recent eMarketer report predicted that the company will near $1 billion in revenue in 2017 — meaning a $25 billion IPO would be priced at 25x its revenue numbers.

A $25 billion IPO would be the largest public offering for a tech company since Alibaba went public in 2014 for $168 billion, and would come at a time when the tech IPO market has been in the doldrums.

It would also be a huge coup for Evan Spiegel, the 26-year-old entrepreneur who started Snapchat as a student at Stanford and famously turned down a $3 billion bid from Facebook in 2013.

Spiegel has been clear about his company’s plan to go public. “We need to IPO,” he said onstage at the Code conference in May of last year. “We have a plan to do that.”

In the last two years, his ephemeral messaging app has ramped up its advertising efforts, adding sponsored geofilters, animated selfie “Lenses,” and inserting video ads between users’ stories.

Most recently, Snapchat rebranded to Snap Inc. and unveiled its Spectacles, a smart glasses product. Spiegel isn’t banking on glasses becoming a significant revenue stream for the company — at least at this stage. The company recently told the Journal that the glasses would have “limited distribution” when they go on sale.

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