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.