Snap’s disappearing photos are strangely appropriate for the volatility of its CEO’s wealth.
After the market’s close Wednesday, the parent company of Snapchat announced disappointing earnings for its first quarterly report as a public company. And in the blink of an eye, the billionaire co-founder of Snap (snap) had lost hundreds of millions of dollars.
By the market’s open on Thursday, Snap’s stock was down 23%, and the 26-year-old had shed about $1.22 billion overnight from his net worth. Spiegel is now worth roughly $4.35 billion, based on his most recent disclosures with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Spiegel’s net worth is largely derived from his stake in Snap — a stock that has been highly volatile since going public in early March. The company has sharply divided the bulls and the bears, with bulls pointing to the company’s popularity among teens and scalability, while bears have pointed to the the company’s lack of profits, and weak growth in its user base.
Snapchat’s earnings Wednesday only helped fuel the bears, revealing that it had 166 million daily active users, a 36% increase in the first quarter compared to a year ago. In the quarter before however, the company grew that figure by 48%. Meanwhile, the company has been burning fuel, losing $2.2 billion in the quarter on revenue of $150 million.
Not that Spiegel, who controls roughly 44% of the company, sounds worried. When asked during Snap’s earnings call Wednesday if he felt worried about Facebook, Spiegel laughed.
“At the end of the day, just because Yahoo has a search box, it doesn’t mean they’re Google,” he said, referring to Facebook’s new camera feature with augmented reality — which puts the company in direct competition with Snap.
Still, there’s another way Facebook is already historically beating Snapchat.
While Snap’s stock dropped 23% by the market’s open following its first-ever quarterly earnings report, Facebook’s stock dropped about 14%. CEO Mark Zuckerberg also shed $1.6 billion off his wealth at the time — leaving him with roughly $11.9 billion.