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How rare is Snap’s IPO? Only 30 out of 14,300 VC-backed startups have been valued at more than $1 billion

Reuters/Lucas Jackson
Disappearing billions.
  • Oliver Staley
By Oliver Staley

Business & culture editor

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

In the popular imagination, Silicon Valley is where boyish billionaires are minted on a regular basis. All you need is a great idea and someone will hand you a sack of cash. In truth, the odds of success are incredibly steep.

That makes the stock market debut of Snap—which owns Snapchat, the disappearing message app, and POV-recording Spectacles—all the more impressive. As Scott Austin, a Wall Street Journal editor, noted on Twitter, very few startups backed by venture capital filing for an IPO have managed to pull off a valuation of more than $1 billion in the last 10 years:

Snap was priced at $17 a share on March 1, giving it a value of $24 billion. The shares started trading today, and were snapped up (sorry) by investors eager to get in on the ground floor of a hot tech stock.

The company is expected to raise about $3.4 billion in its IPO, or more than enough to make its boyish CEO Evan Spiegel—who is maintaining a vice-like grip on control of the company—very, very rich.

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