Snapchat Ensures Founder Control Post-IPO and Google Invests

  • Spiegel, Murphy control about 74% of company, Equidate says
  • Google Capital rebrands and takes undisclosed stake in Snap

Snapchat Isn't Just for the Youngs Anymore

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 Snap.

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

Evan Spiegel

Photographer: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

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.

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