Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, is expected to launch on the stock market Thursday when investors will be able to begin buying and selling shares of the popular self-proclaimed “camera company.” Initial guesses about what the company is worth are sitting around $22 billion but there has been no official announcement from the company.
The company reportedly was aiming to debut shares between $14 and $16 but according to The Wall Street Journal the shares may now be as much as $18.
Snapchat has 158 million daily users, and while the filing from Snapchat Inc. cited technical issues as a reason for a decrease in new users in the fourth quarter of 2016 there is concern among potential investors that competition may be catching up. The photo sharing app Instagram introduced Instagram stories to the app last summer, which integrated Snapchat’s photo sharing tactics.
Other concerns are that the company has no formal headquarters, and instead, is spread out around Venice Beach, California. Residents of Venice were out in protest Tuesday just days before the company is set to go public to voice concerns about the company buying up Venice and turning it into a “campus” similar to Apple and Facebook headquarters. The protesters were urging potential investors to not invest in the company until it had a proper headquarters. This a concern for potential investors because it implies a lack of cohesion within the company, says the WSJ.
In response Snapchat said it has tried to be a good neighbor over the last four years and is already looking to expand outside of Venice.
On Wednesday, Snapchat came under more scrutiny when company emails were leaked to Mic allegedly showing that Snapchat told a gun safety charity that it would have to pay Snapchat if the charity didn't want NRA ads running during a campaign that featured families of victims of gun violence.
The company quietly filed to go public amid the U.S. election in November, but the news quickly spread with more people interested in buying shares than there are shares available.