Is Snapchat ready for an IPO?

After its initial release in 2011, Snapchat, the vanishing-message service, quickly rose to popularity among teenagers, a generation practically born with smartphones in their hands. Its launch took social media by storm and piqued the interest of Facebook, who offered to buy the company for $3 billion in 2013. Snapchat famously declined the offer. Today, Snapchat is the fastest growing social messaging app in the world growing at a rate of 56% a year, with more than 100 million daily active users and roughly 400 million “snapchats” a day. Last week, the company announced yet another milestone: it has raised $537 million in a new round of funding at a valuation of $15 billion. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel revealed that he is in the midst of planning for an initial public offering. Now the big question is, will Snapchat be able to crank out revenue strong and consistent enough to attract shareholders? After all, Wall Street is all about stable revenue and profit growth. With a new, untested and expensive ad program that works by placing vanishing ads on its platform, Snapchat has yet to prove that it can turn its social messaging business into a real money maker.
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