Batting away a multi-billion dollar offer from Facebook in 2015 made it quite clear clear that Snap Inc. had ambitions beyond just being another subsidiary, and lots of outside cash would be needed to fuel that growth. That's why so few people were surprised when CEO Evan Spiegel said the company "needed" to IPO not long after he had rejected Mark Zuckerberg's advances. Since then, we've seen the company out perform clone-like competition from Facebook -- Instagram Stories, anyone? -- and release its first hardware product, a pair of funky sunglasses called Spectacles.
Make no mistake: The company's flagship product will always be Snapchat, which continues to act as an eyeball magnet for around 150 million daily users around the world. A big influx of cash could help Snapchat stave off competitors and firm up its position as a prime player in social media for years to come.
Industry observers commenting on the reports have dubbed the move as potentially the biggest tech IPO in years, comparing it to Facebook’s flotation in 2012.