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Shira Ovide

Snapchat IPO Shows Wisdom Beyond Its Years

The messaging startup gets power over shareholders and maybe even a little discipline.

Many technology startups, especially the best and brightest, are avoiding an IPO like a trip to the dentist.

Prominent young companies like Uber Technologies Inc. keep finding rich investors to help them delay a debut on the public markets. Among tech companies that sold public stock for the first time in 2016, the median time from their founding to an IPO was 10 years, according to research by University of Florida professor Jay Ritter. During the dot-com peak in 1999, it was four years.