Alibaba Considers Investing in Photo Messaging App Snapchat

Alibaba Group Holding Limited is considering of investing in Snapchat, a photo messaging app at a $10 billion valuation, according to report from Bloomberg based on information from people familiar with the matter.

The report indicated that Snapchat is in discussions with Alibaba Group Holding Limited to raise funds. The Los Angeles-based firm already received more than $100 million in investments from several investors including Benchmark, Lightspeed Venture partners and SV Angel.

Last year, Snapchat rejected the $3 billion takeover proposal from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). The valuation under consideration by Alibaba for Snapchat is three times more than what Facebook was willing to pay.

Dana Settle, the founding partner of Greycroft, a venture capital firm commented, “It would be great for a Los Angeles-based tech company to really build a meaningful business, and Snapchat continues to prove that they’re willing to and have the technical ability to do it.”

Alibaba is expanding its business in the United States through acquisitions. The Chinese e-commerce giant already acquired Lyft, a ride-sharing service.

Alibaba’s investment arm in the United States is negotiating with Snapchat. The investment arm was established to focus on internet commerce and emerging technologies. Michael Zeisser, a former executive of Liberty Media Corp (NASDAQ:LMCA) is the head of Alibaba’s U.S. investment arm.

Snapchat is not the first investment of Alibaba in the messaging space. The Chinese e-commerce giant invested $200 million in Tango, a texting service. Alibaba wants to establish a strong position in the space.

Privco CEO Sam Hamadeh opined, “Alibaba is locked in an intense rivalry with China Internet conglomerate TenCent, which owns one of Asia’s leading and rapidly growing mobile messaging app, WeChat,”

Hamadeh added, “In its quest for global Internet domination, Alibaba wants a competing messaging app — the future of mobile commerce both in Asia and in the U.S. — and Snapchat is one of only a small handful of messaging apps that are still private and independent.”

Alibaba is preparing for its initial public offering (IPO) in the United States. The company will be trading at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker “BABA.”