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article imageSnapchat is now worth over $16bn, snaps up $538m more funding

By James Walker     May 30, 2015 in Business
Popular messaging app Snapchat has raised another $537.6 million by selling off stock, leaving it valued at $16 billion. The app has gone from strength to strength since launch, helped by its popularity with teenagers and simple but intuitive appeal.
The company is now worth $6 billion more than it was at its last valuation in December 2014. It has secured the $537.6 million of new investor funding through the sale of common stock, according to the International Business Times.
The next round of funding is expected to raise an additional $650m, taking the total to around $1.2bn. Investors include Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holdings — who contributed $200 million in March — and a selection of U.S. hedge funds providers.
The round is unusual as it involves common stock as opposed to the preferred stock capital investors are normally given when buying shares in companies. The Wall Street Journal reports only earlier investors currently own preferred shares.
Snapchat has recently begun to more aggressively attempt to make money. Its initial free messaging service failed to draw profit for the company so users now see adverts displayed in the app in their stories. Additionally, companies can pay to have their content promoted in Snapchat's new "Discover" feature.
CEO Evan Spiegel reported recently that the company now has nearly 100 million users accessing its app every day. Of them, 65 percent create their own content during their time in the app. Snapchat is particularly popular with teenagers in the U.S. due to its easy facilitation of selfie creation with the assurance that the image will be gone after a set amount of time.
Users can also make images visible to all of their friends by adding them to their story. Frequently used to show what people are doing during the day, these images disappear after 24 hours. Investors have repetitively sought to capitalise on the company's success and it looks as though anybody may be able to do so soon with the company reportedly planning an initial public offering on the stock market.
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