Snap, the company behind the messaging app, Snapchat, is on the brink of becoming the largest US flotation after its pending listing on the country’s stock market was mooted.
Valuation of the California-based firm range between $20bn and $25bn, with experts predicting that its value will surpass the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba which listed two years ago.
Press reports say Snapchat filed a confidential application for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission, under the US Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act.
This route allows companies with less than $1bn in revenue to file secretly in the process of testing the appetite of investors.
Snapchat was co-founded by Evan Spiegel and his fiance Miranda Kerr while both were still at university. It began operating in 2012 as a mobile app that allowed users to send photos that vanish within seconds.
The company now has 100 million daily users, which is more than Twitter.
An additional advantage for Snapchat is that 60% of its users are aged between 13 and 24, which is a major attraction for advertisers to reach young people.
Three years ago Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg offered to buy Snapchat for $3bn but was turned down.
Experts say if the flotation goes ahead, it will be the biggest US technology flotation since Facebook’s $81bn launch in 2012.