Snapchat goes off-trend and picks London as European base ahead of expected $25 billion IPO
Snap Inc, the company behind the hugely popular messaging app Snapchat, has picked London as the location for its international headquarters.
Snapchat’s new office will book all sales from countries where it has no local entity, including France, Australia, Canada and Saudi Arabia, giving the UK’s post-Brexit technology credentials a significant boost.
The move goes against the trend favoured by many other tech companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook, who have all chosen the likes of Ireland or the Netherlands as their European base in order to take advantage of more favourable tax regulations.
Snapchat already has an office in Soho with around 75 staff, but the company is planning to hire additional employees and move to a new site in the capital.
“We believe in the UK creative industries,” said Claire Valoti, general manager of Snap Group in the UK. “The UK is where our advertising clients are, where more than 10m daily Snapchatters are, and where we’ve already begun to hire talent.”
Founded in 2011 by the then 24-year-old CEO Even Spiegel, Snapchat is setting itself up for an important year. After raising funds from a $10 billion (£6.5bn) valuation in 2014, it is now preparing to go public with a valuation of around $25 billion (£20bn), which would make it one of the largest IPOs in history.
Snapchat has enjoyed astronomical growth over the last couple of years and now boasts more than 150 million daily active users worldwide, around half of whom are based outside the US. Research firm eMarketer has predicted that its ad revenue will be close to hitting the $1bn (£820m) mark this year, up from around $367m (£320m) last year.