One of the more unusually winners in Thursday’s home-run IPO of Snap Inc., parent company of Snapchat, is Saint Francis high school in Mountain View, California, the heart of Silicon Valley.
The high school got into the seed funding round of Snapchat, thanks to one of Snapchat’s first venture capital investors, Barry Eggers a partner at Lightspeed Ventures.
With today’s successful IPO of Snap, an ebullient Eggers wrote a post that details how he found Snap and how he got this high school involved:
Almost exactly five years ago today, I came home from work and walked into my kitchen. My daughter Natalie and a few of her high school sophomore friends were sitting at the table. They were all absorbed in their phones and were laughing. I felt compelled to ask…”What are you all doing?”
My daughter looked up at me and said: “Dad, have you seen this app? It’s called Snapchat. It’s one of the most popular apps at school, along with Angry Birds and Instagram.” I had heard of Angry Birds and Instagram…but not Snapchat. I needed to tell someone about this — my Partner, Jeremy Liew.
That moment marked the beginning of a journey that led Lightspeed to Stanford University, and two entrepreneurs who had a fresh vision for the future. Ten days after meeting Evan and Bobby, we made our seed investment in Snap.
Because the idea came from his high school daughter Eggers convinced the high school to take a stake and participate in whatever spoils the eventual investment would pay out. The school agreed to invest $US15,000. And although we don’t know how many shares that bought the school, those close to the situation previously told The Information that the stake could be worth “tens of millions of dollars.”
Whatever the take-away, the high school is “thrilled.” It sent out this statement on Thursday:
Lightspeed is thrilled that Saint Francis participated in the seed investment in Snap, contributing $US15,000. Snap’s IPO represents an incredible opportunity to help the school, its students and their greater community for years to come. Lightspeed Partner Barry Eggers approached Saint Francis about making the investment when his children, who first mentioned the app to Barry, were students at the school.
Lightspeed, and Eggers, are also thrilled. The firm invested a total of $US8.1 million in Snapchat over the years. That stake was worth $US1.47 billion at Snap’s $US17 per share IPO price. And at the $US25 mark that the stock hit on opening day, Lightspeed’s stake is worth almost $US2.2 billion.
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