Snapchat Seeks More Financing to Reach $19 Billion Valuation

Company behind popular photo and video messaging application reportedly seeks $500 million investment

Last Updated: February 18, 2015 @ 1:03 AM

Snapchat, Inc. is looking for a new round of funding.

According to Bloomberg, executives behind the popular photo and video messaging app are holding discussions with fund managers to bring in up to $500 million worth of additional investments, which would bring the Los Angeles-based tech company’s value to anywhere from $16 to $19 billion.

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).

Representatives from Snapchat have not yet returned TheWrap‘s request for comment.

Snapchat was 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 channel. 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.

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

Snapchat CEO Evan 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.