Snapchat ensures founder control post-IPO and Google invests

Alphabet ’s equity division CapitalG quietly makes an undisclosed investment in Snapchat


Snapchat amends its charter to ensure that its founders retain majority voting control after the company’s IPO, giving them more control than the founders at Facebook, Google had after they went public. Photo: Bloomberg
Snapchat amends its charter to ensure that its founders retain majority voting control after the company’s IPO, giving them more control than the founders at Facebook, Google had after they went public. Photo: Bloomberg

San Francisco: Snap Inc. amended its charter to ensure that its founders retain majority voting control after the company’s initial public offering, giving them more control than the founders at Facebook Inc. and Google had after those companies went public. Separately, Google quietly made an undisclosed investment in Snapchat.

Chief executive officer Evan Spiegel and co-founder and chief technology officer Bobby Murphy together control about 74% of the company, according to an analysis by Equidate, a stock market for private technology companies. That compares with the 41% that Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin had after their IPO, and the 56% Mark Zuckerberg held after Facebook’s.

Snap, formerly known as Snapchat, is asking public-market investors to back its management team and support their potential to build the next technology juggernaut. The company behind the social media app that’s wildly popular with teens and millennials is aiming to raise as much as $4 billion in an IPO that could value it at $25 billion to $35 billion, people familiar with the matter have said. This year, Snap is aiming for revenue of $350 million.

Snap plans to go public as early as March. The filing Monday in Delaware, which laid out the founders’ voting rights, indicates that the company is cleaning up its ownership structure in preparation.

Google seems to approve. Alphabet Inc.’s growth equity division, previously called Google Capital, renamed itself to CapitalG on Friday. With the re-brand, the firm also disclosed a recent investment in Snap. A spokeswoman for CapitalG declined to share the total investment. Bloomberg

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