Snapchat IPO

Snap's first investor thinks this tech company will be the next big thing

Snap's first investor: Powerful when a company 'becomes a verb'

Snap's first investor thinks young people will be communicating non-verbally more in the near future, and thus messaging companies that are image-based are set to take off.

"One of the things we are really seeing as messaging has broadly exploded is GIFs," Lightspeed Venture Partner's Jeremy Liew told CNBC. "People are looking for, you know as you call it, post-verbal communication. It's a way to communicate emotion as well as information."

Liew pointed to Giphy, a platform that creates a searchable database of GIFs. GIFs are animated images that play on a short loop. The company was valued at $600 million as of Oct. 2016, and Liew is an investor in the company.

Lightspeed invested $485,000 in Snap in April 2012, an investment that returned more than $1 billion when the company went public Thursday. (Lightspeed sold $78.8 million worth of shares during the IPO. It still has more than 38,680,000 shares remaining, valued at about $967 million.)

"If you become so ingrained a daily habit for hundreds of millions of people and you become that article of popular culture where every company is thinking of how to reach that audience," there's a lot of potential," Liew said of Snap.