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Snapchat seeks new funding that would value the company at $19 billion

February 18, 2015, 12:40 PM UTC
Headquarters Of Photo And Video Sharing Application Snapchat
People take pictures in front of the Snapchat Inc. headquarters on the strand at Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. Snapchat is a photo and video sharing application that allows the user to pre-set a period of time, no more than ten seconds, for the receiver to view the content before it disappears from the screen. Photographer: Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Patrick Fallon — Bloomberg/Getty Images

Snapchat is looking to raise as much as $500 million in a new funding round that would value the mobile messaging company at up to $19 billion, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

The latest valuation is a massive increase for the company, which Facebook (FB) offered to buy for $3 billion in late 2013. Snapchat’s previous funding round, completed late last year, valued the company at more than $10 billion.

Executives of the company, which allows its more than 100 million users to send messages that disappear after a few seconds, are in advanced talks with fund managers, the person told Bloomberg.

The investments being discussed would value Snapchat between $16 billion and $19 billion overall, Bloomberg reported.

Los Angeles-based Snapchat could not be reached immediately for comment.

The drastic increase in valuation comes as Snapchat continues to add to its active user base and extends its service. Last month it added videos and articles by mainstream media outlets such as CNN and ESPN, bringing Snapchat into closer competition with Facebook and Twitter (TWTR).

It is also the latest evidence of a surge in venture capital financing for technology companies, that has produced some eye-popping valuations.

Even at $19 billion, Snapchat would only be the third-most valuable tech startup that does not trade its shares publicly. According to research firm CB Insights, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is worth $46 billion and app-based taxi service Uber is valued at $41 billion.
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