Snapchat valued at $18bn

Messaging app Snapchat has been valued at an extraordinary $18bn in the latest round of funding, revealed in an SEC filing.

The company raised $1.8bn over the course of a year, with most of it coming in the last few months. The company is still privately held, but unlike other Silicon Valley "unicorns," venture capitalists are confident that the company has the potential to become "the next Facebook," thanks in large part to its huge popularity with teenagers.

The company's user base and revenue have been rocketing in the past year: from 74 million users at the end of 2014 to 110 million at the end of 2015. In the same timeframe its quarterly revenue went from $4m to $33m.

The company is forecasting revenue of between $250m and $350m for this year and up to $1bn for 2017. According to the Silicon Valley model of overhyped valuations, that makes it worth $18bn, but in reality investors are desperate to grab a piece of any tech company that looks as though it will survive the next year. ®

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