Chinese Internet giant Alibaba is reportedly in talks to finance self-destructing messaging app SnapChat, which may lead to a valuation of $10 billion, according to Bloomberg’s sources.
SnapChat previously turned down an offer from Facebook for $3 billion last November. As we reported then, founder Evan Spiegal said he wasn’t going to consider selling to another company until this year at the earliest.
The photo service has already seen investment from Chinese Internet group Tencent (a big player in games and other services), which contributed to a $50 million raise in December 2013. In total SnapChat has received $133 million in funding to date.
Alibaba’s interest in SnapChat may be an extension of its growing investment in social media. The company has toyed with social media, investing in one of China’s biggest microblogging platforms, Sina Weibo, and Tango, a messaging and calling service that also features games.
The Chinese Internet giant may also be trying to beef up its presence in the U.S. ahead of its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, which rumors point to coming soon. The company has already invested in U.S. transportation company Lyft, and it also recently launched a U.S. marketplace called 11Main. SnapChat could be its latest bid to gain a foothold in the American market.
Talks are still ongoing, reports Bloomberg, and both companies have confirmed nothing.
When reached for confirmation, representatives from Alibaba declined to comment. SnapChat has yet to respond to our request for comment.