Snapchat’s IPO leads as overheated start-up

Snapchat’s IPO leads as overheated start-up

The smart-money types carefully examined a company with slowing user growth, a nascent business model and stock that permits zero influence from shareholders and said: Yep. Gimme some of that Snapchat.

Parent company Snap Inc. on Wednesday sold its first shares of stock to the public at $17 (£13.85) a share, or a market value of about $24 billion (£19.55 billion), including outstanding equity. It’s an incredible valuation for a company that has been generating revenue for only about two years. Of course it’s nearly impossible to tell whether Snapchat IPO buyers will be rewarded handsomely for their coin-toss bet. Shares could fall on their face on the first day of trading Thursday.

But Snapchat’s ability to get its controversial IPO out the door on the company’s terms does show public investors’ willingness to roll the dice on fast-growing but unprofitable companies with overheated valuations and some serious question.

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