Snapchat chooses London as HQ for global expansion

Snapchat’s IPO could be the largest in history, as parent company, Snap Group Limited, announces London as the base for its international HQ.

Snapchat icon on iPhone home screen
Snap Inc, the owner of messaging app Snapchat, has chosen to set up its new international headquarters in London, the Los Angeles-based company announced on Tuesday.The move is regarded as the latest vote of confidence in the UK's creative industries following announcements in 2016 by Facebook, Apple and Google that they all planned to substantially expand their London-based operations.However, the difference is that Snap will use its UK headquarters to book revenues from all sales made to customers outside of the US, while other big US tech companies, including Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon, have set-up international HQs in European jurisdictions with lower-tax regimes, such as Ireland or Luxembourg.

Snapchat's UK headquarters will focus on camera hardware

Snap's new UK entity will be called Snap Group Limited, which is intended to refocus attention on the firm as a camera company rather than the owner of a single app. The move into camera hardware was launched last year with the release of Snapchat Spectacles – sunglasses that are able to record short bursts of video and send them to smartphones via Bluetooth. So far, the product is only available in the US, but when it arrives in the rest of the world, the revenue will now be logged in the UK.
Snapchat glasses
Snapchat Spectacles can record short bursts of video & send it to smartphones via Bluetooth
Claire Valoti, general manager of Snap Group UK, said: "We believe in the UK creative industries. The UK is where our advertising clients are, where more than 10 million daily Snapchatters are, and where we've already begun to hire talent.“We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate. Our products empower people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world and have fun together.”Over the past year, Snap has increased its staff numbers in Britain from six to about 75. It occupies a three-storey office block in Soho in central London and has an additional site opening nearby soon.A Snap spokesman said: “I am happy to confirm that the UK is the Snap Inc family’s hub outside the US. The UK’s strong creative industries make this a great place to build a global business.”
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Snapchat reported IPO will be one of the largest in history 

Founded in 2011 by the-then 24-year-old Even Spiegel, Snapchat is reportedly now preparing to go public with a valuation of around $25 billion, which would make it one of the largest IPOs in history.Snapchat has enjoyed astronomical growth in recent years 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 $1 billion this year, up from around $367 million in 2016.

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