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Video messaging service Snap reportedly eyes $25 billion IPO

Snap Inc., whose disappearing Snapchat messages are used by 150 million people daily, reportedly is planning a $25 billion initial public offering, making it the biggest stock market debut on a U.S. exchange since 2014.

The company, known as Snapchat until recently, is planning to sell shares to the public as early as March, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing “several people familiar with the matter” whom it didn’t name.  A spokesman for the Venice, Calif.-based company declined to comment on “rumors or speculation about any financing plans.” The newspaper noted that there was no guarantee that the sale would proceed in that time frame.

A Snap IPO will attract considerable interest from Wall Street since it is a “unicorn” - a privately held company backed by venture capitalists with valuations topping $1 billion. Other unicorns include ride-sharing service Uber and Airbnb, which helps people rent out spare rooms in their homes to travelers. Snap also is popular with young people, making its shares even more enticing to Wall Street.

According to the Journal, Snap was valued at $17.8 billion as its latest funding round in May.  It isn’t clear if Snap, which has more daily users than Twitter (TWTR), is profitable.

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