Snapchat is finishing a financing round that will net it around $100 million in fresh funds and a valuation of nearly $500 million, according to GigaOm.
The 2-year-old mobile app, extremely popular with youngsters, offers people an impermanent way to send text, pictures, and videos to friends that disappear after a few seconds. Members upload more than 150 million images every day, CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel said in April.
Just a few months ago, the Los Angeles-based company behind the app picked up $13.5 million in funding in a round led by Benchmark Capital. The deal reportedly valued the startup at somewhere between $60 million and $70 million.
Now, Snapchat appears ready to saddle up against the biggest names in social media with a mind-blowing cash pile and valuation. The company's soon-to-be backers won't be your typical Silicon Valley venture firms, however, as SnapChat is grabbing money from hedge funds instead, according to GigaOm.
Wherever the $100 million comes from, the new money would signify Snapchat's interest in creating a business around an app that initially seemed more like a throwaway gimmick than an app destined for social-media greatness. But tweens and teens, who enjoy goofing off without parental interference, have spoken; they've made Snapchat a more permanent sensation than the transitory content it encourages.
Snapchat did not immediately respond to a request for comment.