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Snapchat parent reportedly headed for an IPO

The company behind the Snapchat messaging app has reportedly filed papers for an initial public offering that could value it at up to US$25 billion, according to news reports.

Snapchat changed its name to Snap in September to reflect the company’s growing interest in new markets beyond its messaging platform that lets users send disappearing photos and stories. It recently introduced its video camera-equipped sunglasses called Spectacles.

The company said that the name change would make it easier for people to search online for its products. “You can search Snapchat or Spectacles for the fun stuff and leave Snap Inc. for the Wall Street crowd :),” Snap CEO Evan Spiegel wrote in a blog post in September.

Snap is now said to be readying to woo the people at Wall Street. The company has filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission in recent weeks, reported the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. The IPO, expected as early as March, could value the company at between $20 billion and $25 billion, according to the newspaper.

A company spokesman said Snap “is not commenting on these stories.”

If the Snap IPO materializes at the expected valuation, it will be the largest US-listed technology offering since Alibaba Group Holding's $168 billion valuation in 2014, WSJ said.

Snap is preparing for an IPO at a time when there is considerable anxiety on stock markets about the outlook  after the election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president. Technology companies are also particularly apprehensive about his views on issues such as encryption, immigration and surveillance.

The president-elect has previously said that he supported law enforcement in its bid to get Apple to help it access data on an iPhone in a criminal investigation into a terror attack in San Bernardino, California. Apple had said that would require the company to reengineer its product. Snap and many other tech companies backed the iPhone maker.

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