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Snapchat eyes 2017 share offering: report

Snapchat’s parent Snap is readying a 2017 share offering, which would bring to Wall Street one of the most prominent of the venture-backed tech “unicorns,” the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The company which makes the popular disappearing message application and which has been expanding its media partnerships, could have its initial public offering (IPO) ready by March, the newspaper said.

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel in Los Angeles. Snapchat, the disappearing-message service, has been quiet following a security breach that allowed hackers to collect the usernames and phone numbers of millions of its users. (AP) /

The IPO is likely to value the California startup at over $25 billion, according to the report, making it the largest on a US exchange since 2014, when China’s Alibaba hit the market.

Contacted by AFP, Snap said in an email, “We aren’t commenting on rumors or speculation about any financing plans.”

Snap estimates it has more than 100 million users globally of the service for sending videos, images and text messages which vanish after being viewed. Some reports say it generates 10 billion video views per day.

While its finances are not public, the research firm eMarketer has estimated that Snapchat would generate nearly a billion dollars next year from advertising.

Snapchat’s messaging has been a hit, especially with young people, but it has been broadening offerings to include content from media partners in the hope of expanding use and money-making opportunities.

Snapchat is offering a variety of “channels” that allow its media partners such as CNN, ESPN, Vice and BuzzFeed connect with its audience.

In one deal, NBCUniversal is making a Snapchat version of its singing competition show “The Voice.”