CEO Evan Spiegel must be carefully monitoring the public markets to figure out what it'll take to build on his private company's roughly $16 billion valuation. But all signs point to an IPO, probably in the second half of next year. The ephemeral messaging and content app is growing fast and has massive scale, with 100 million daily active users, and 6 billion daily video views in November, three times the number in May. The company has raised nearly $1.2 billion total, though a source told CNBC that Snapchat is burning through quite a bit of cash on a growing team and bandwidth.
The company's 2015 revenue, according to a source, will be about $70 million, with expectations of at least doubling next year. Snapchat generates revenue from ads and sponsored content and channels within its "Discover" and "Live" stories. It also offers brands custom lenses and "geofilters" to weave brands into the way users communicate and consume content across the app. (The company declined to comment.)
Spiegel has made some key hires — including a chief strategy officer from Wall Street, Imran Khan, a year ago, and in August a new finance chief from Mattel. That said, one of the biggest challenges to the company going public may be management turnover, as it's lost a number of top execs in the past year. Another uncertainty: questions about the ability to scale its ad format.