Snapchat Raising $200 Million From Alibaba

Chinese e-commerce company to invest at a valuation of $15 billion, according to new report


Alilbaba may soon be getting into the video and photo sharing business.

The Chinese e-commerce firm is looking to invest $200 million in Snapchat, Inc., the company behind the popular photo and video messaging app, according to Bloomberg. The investment would come at a valuation of $15 billion.

This comes less than a month after TheWrap reported Snapchat executives were seeking $500 million from a new round of investments, at a valuation of $16 to $19 billion.

The two companies were previously involved in investment discussions last year, before Snapchat’s initial public offering in September, but a deal did not emerge.

Representatives for Alibaba and Snapchat have not yet responded to TheWrap‘s request for comment.

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel is scheduled to speak Wednesday evening at the Montgomery Summit in Santa Monica, California. It’s unclear whether he will address the possible deal with Alibaba.

The additional funding would make Snapchat the world’s third-most valuable venture-capital-backed startup, according to the report, behind only ride sharing company Uber Technologies Inc. ($40 billion) and Chinese cellphone producer Xiaomi Corp. ($45 billion).

The widely popular app developed in 2011 at Stanford University and spent much of its infancy as a way for users to discretely exchange?disappearing pictures and messages. But more recently the company has seen a wider array of applications, including within Hollywood, where it’s being used as both a marketing tool for filmmakers and musicians and an over-the-top delivery system for original content.

In January the company partnered with CNN, ESPN, Comedy Central and others to launch a Discover platform. Later that month the company revealed plans to co-produce a scripted superhero series “SnapperHero” with AT&T. Snapchat will also develop a? mobile series produced by Steven Spielberg and John Goldwyn’s daughters.

Also Read: Madonna Debuts New Music Video On Snapchat

Madonna even used the app?to debut her new video for “Rebel Heart” earlier this month.

Spiegel made headlines in 2013 when he turned?down a $3 billion offer from Facebook, instead raising $485 million from 23 different investors, including Yahoo! Inc., which brought the company’s net worth to $10 billion. Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton was also among those investors in 2013, and currently?serves on its?board of directors.

For Alibaba, it would be the simply the latest in a series of high profile investments. The company struck a deal to pay $382 million for a major stake in Enlight Media, a premier film and TV production network in China, on March 4.