Messaging app of the moment Snapchat is now worth even more than everyone thought after it disclosed more than a billion dollars of new investment.
The five-year old startup which has previously revealed plans for an eventual IPO, is staying private for now, having raised $1.8bn (£1.2bn) in a series F round of funding official documents filed with SEC revealed on Thursday.
Investors in the round include equity investment firms General Atlantic, Lone Pine and T Rowe Price, and venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. It was earlier revealed that existing investor Fidelity had ploughed $175m into the firm, but at the same price it paid last year. That sum of money is part of the round revealed today.
But, it could value the firm at as much as $20bn, according to TechCrunch, citing unnamed sources, up from $15bn in March last year when it last confirmed funding.
At that valuation, Snapchat would leapfrog two other so-called unicorn startups to become the fifth most valuable venture-backed private company in the world, according to the Wall Street Journals billion-dollar startup tracker, behind only Uber, Xiaomi, Airbnb and Did Chuxing.
The messaging app which is more popular among younger users in comparison to Facebook and Twitter has introduced several new features designed to monetise the platform and partnered with new organisations such as Buzzfeed and CNN to promote content.
Read more: Snapchat is planning to IPO
Snapchat has not disclosed any revenues, however, according to TechCrunch, which cited leaked documents, last year they stood at $59m, while its target for 2016 is between $250m and $350m, and for 2017 could be as high as $1bn.
The late stage funding comes amid a slowdown in tech IPOs. Proceeds from tech floats fell to their lowest since 2009, according to PwC, while there wasn't a single tech IPO in the first quarter of the year in the US or UK. Wider economic factors have influenced float intentions while the PwC report noted unicorns are waiting for "better timing and improved sentiment for their high valuations".