A Wall Street Journal report says Snapchat's insane $4 billion valuation is already going to its head: the disappearing pic startup rejected a $3 billion buyout offer from Zuckerberg. Three billion in cash. Zero sense.
The offer, and rebuff, came as Snapchat is being wooed by other investors and potential acquirers. Chinese e-commerce giant Tencent HoldingsTCEHY -1.13% had offered to lead an investment that would value two-year-old Snapchat at $4 billion. Evan Spiegel, Snapchat's 23-year-old co-founder and CEO, will not likely consider an acquisition or an investment at least until early next year, the people briefed on the matter said. They said Spiegel is hoping Snapchat's numbers – of users and messages – will grow enough by then to justify an even larger valuation, the people said.
So, Snapchat turned down $3 billion in real money from Facebook because of the possibility of more billions in largely imaginary money—that's walking away from about three Tumblrs or around four Instagrams. But Snapchat considers itself worthy of more than $3 billion, for a company that has never generated a dollar of revenue in its existence. Teens, man—everyone wants those teens. We've been told Mark Zuckerberg personally tried to buy out Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel (who will likely die wealthy, buyout or no buyout) during a visit to his dad's house within the last year, but was rejected. Zuck is undaunted. Will he come back with $5 billion now? Twenty billion? A palace filled with furs and gems?