The mobile messaging service Snapchat recently rejected a $3 billion cash offer from Facebook, The Wall Street Journal reported. Snapchat, considered one of the up-and-coming applications in social networking, has also had an investment offer led by Chinese Internet giant Tencent, which would value the startup at $4 billion, the newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources.
Facebook declined to comment on the report.
According to the Journal, Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s 23-year-old co-founder and chief executive, is unlikely to consider an acquisition or an investment at least until early next year.The daily cited sources saying Spiegel was hoping to boost the number of users and messages to justify a higher valuation. Snapchat is know for mobile messages and photos that disappear after being viewed by the recipient. Snapchat did not disclose financial details of an investment round earlier this year, but online reports pegged the figure at $60 million in a deal that values the company at $800 million. “Long story short, we’re committed to building a big company around an innovative and fun product,” the Snapchat team said at the time. Snapchat recently introduced a “SnapKidz” version of its application for Apple mobile devices that lets children younger than 13 years old take or draw pictures, add captions, and save the images but not share them. The application was designed to stay within the bounds of laws restricting information that can be collected about or from children.
The grown-up version of Snapchat has stirred controversy for its potential to be used to share risque pictures that are automatically deleted within 10 seconds of receipt. The company said last year it topped 100 million pictures shares. Facebook last year made a huge purchase of the photo-sharing application Instagram. The stock deal was worth $1 billion at the time of announcement, and at closing $747 million. Facebook, which has more than a billion users worldwide, has been losing ground among younger consumers, who are among the key Snapchat demographic. The news comes a week after Twitter raised more than $1.8 billion in an initial public offering. The subsequent jump in share price pushed Twitter’s market value to over $20 billion.