Snap prices its IPO from $14 to $16 per share

A familiar technology is transforming our interactions with the digital world and Snapchat’s parent company wants to lead the way

When Snap does go public, the company said in documents filed with the S.E.C. on Thursday, it will price its I.P.O.at $14 to $16 per share, with a total of 200 million Class A shares. Often, the range is increased and, in particularly hot offerings, the stock will then price even higher. Snap has already raised the ceiling on the amount it plans to raise in the IPO, from $3 billion in its first filing to $3.68 billion in its latest one.

The market valuation that Snap is seeking - between US$16.2 billion and US$18.5 billion depending on the price at which shares are sold - is less than the company had been aiming for on its path to listing. In November, the company was eyeing a market value of $20 billion to $25 billion, a person familiar with the matter said at the time.

Though Snap's IPO has generated great interest after a dearth of new listings previous year, the company is playing it conservatively.

The valuation figure comes amid skepticism from investors and analysts about Snap's prospects. And the company's decision to offer no voting power with shares being offered in the IPO has drawn criticism from both existing and prospective shareholders.

Revenues surged to $404.5 million last year from $58.7 million in 2015, but Snap posted a net loss of $514.6 million against $372.9 million a year earlier, and its user growth slowed in the second half of 2016.

According to the Financial Times Snap is due to host an investor roadshow next week with presentations in London, Boston, New York and San Francisco. Other selling owners including Chairman Michael Lynton and venture capital firms Benchmark, Lightspeed Venture Partners, General Catalyst and SV Angel.

Snap co-founders Spiegel and Bobby Murphy each plan to sell 16 million Class A shares, which could bring in as much as US$256 million apiece.

The founders will maintain tight control over Snap's stock through a unique three-share class structure.

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