Snapchat owners aim for $35 billion listing

Snapchat has around 150 million daily users (Getty)
Snapchat has around 150 million daily users (Getty)

The company behind the messaging app Snapchat is planning to list on the US share market in a massive deal.

If it goes ahead, it would value Snap Inc at between US$20 and $25 billion (NZ$28 - $35 billion).

That is far higher than the US$3 billion Facebook unsuccessfully offered for the company in 2013.

It would make co-founder Evan Spiegel and his fiancé, Australian model Miranda Kerr, one of the world's richest young couples - giving them a net worth of as much as US$3.9 billion.

Evan Spiegel co-founded Snapchat when he was a student at Stanford University. He was studying product design and was the social chair of a fraternity, when he founded what would become Snapchat with Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown.

They came up with the idea of an app that allowed people to send photos and messages that would disappear within seconds.

Mr Murphy remains involved in the company, but Mr Brown received a confidential out-of-court settlement.

If the deal reaches the upper end of the suggested valuation, it would mean Mr Murphy's stake in the company is worth at least US$3 billion.

It has around 150 million daily users and is used by four out of 10 Americans aged between 18 and 34.

The app is ideal for advertisers who want to target younger people. But the challenge for Snapchat will be to find a way to grow the user base without alienating its core users, millennials.

The company is already expanding, launching 'Spectacles', camera-embedded sunglasses.

In May the company was valued at US$18 billion, according to regulatory filings. This valuation was based on a series of funding rounds involving private investors.

Other recent tech share market listings have been a mixed bag. Facebook has been a success but Twitter has struggled, falling below its listing price.

Silicon Valley will be watching the deal closely, especially the investors in companies like Uber and Airbnb. Both those companies are considering listing on the share market as well.