NBCUniversal has invested US$500 million in Snapchat’s IPO last week as the latest phase of its ongoing investment in digital media assets.
The Comcast-owned broadcast and studio outfit confirmed the purchase after it was reported by NBC-owned CNBC. According to the news outlet, Snap’s stock allocation to NBCUniversal seemed to be the only one made to a new strategic investor at the time of its IPO.
The move means that NBCUniversal is the only US media company with a stake in the short video messaging network.
NBCUniversal has previously made significant investments in Buzzfeed and Vox, as well as acquiring multichannel network Awesomeness TV as part of its acquisition of DreamWorks Animation.
According to CNBC, NBCU has agreed to hold the shares for at least a year. The news service reported that NBCU has been courting Evan Spiegel, the co-founder of Snapchat, for the past year.
Snapchat parent company Snap Inc’s IPO gave the company a valuation of US$28.3 billion after the close of trading on the day.
According to documents filed by the company, Snapchat has 158 million daily users and recorded revenues of US$404.5 million and net losses of US$514.6 million for the 2016 financial year.
While the company has never made a profit, Ampere Analysis has noted that half of the company’s video viewers are under 25 – a far greater proportion than other social media companies including Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. The ability of the platform to reach this audience is likely to be the major attraction for NBCU.