Very much the talk of the town, Snap's upcoming IPO at ~$20b is looking like a big ask to me. Especially in comparison to Facebook's IPO in 2012. Some interesting numbers to compare the two:

  • Facebook 2011 Revenue $3.7b
  • Facebook 2011 Profit $1.0b
  • Facebook IPO valuation (May 2012): $104b (28x Revenue)

Versus

  • Snapchat 2016 Revenue $205m
  • Snapchat 2016 Profit -$515m
  • Snapchat IPO est. valuation (March 2017) $20b-$25b (98x Revenue)

In comparing Snap to Facebook, I have two concerns:

1. Facebook have many more strings to their bow. Messaging, Instagram, VR, AI, and growing. In comparison, it appears Snap's only significant offering beyond Snapchat is Spectacles, which is essentially an extension of their main product.   

2. Facebook aren't afraid to take on the other giants. The addition of disappearing stories to Instagram coincided perfectly with Snapchat's user growth falling by 14% from Q2 to Q4 last year, and I was reading just today that they're going after Linkedin's core functionality too; further expanding their efforts in the B2B space. I am yet to be convinced of Snap's willingness to take on other players in the social sphere. 

In any case, one interesting similarity between the two is the existence of a lawsuit behind their inception. Read more about Snap's here.