Snapchat's $1.8bn cash injection likely to make it world's fifth most valuable tech 'unicorn'

Snapchat has raised $1.8bn in its most recent funding round, according to a regulatory filing disclosed yesterday.

The cash injection is likely to place the tech giant as the fifth most valuable tech 'unicorn' in the world, behind names like Xiaomi and Airbnb.

Leaked documents obtained by TechCrunch have revealed the company's revenue and forecasts. The report notes that while the company pulled in $59m in revenue in 2015, the fresh stream of investment from the latest funding round could bring the startup's valuation to $20bn.

Sources familiar with the matter claim that new investors include General Atlantic, Lone Pine and Glade Brook Capital among others, according to TechCrunch.

The $1.8bn sum is more than double the $850m Snapchat has raised in previous calls for funding, and if the $20bn value estimation is accurate then it means that the company will join the likes of Uber, as one of the priciest tech unicorns – tech-driven startups that hit a valuation of $1bn or more.

Uber is currently top of this list with an estimated value of $62.5bn, followed by Chinese phone giant Xiaomi (£46bn), while Airbnb is placed at around 25.5bn and China-based taxi company Didi Chuxing is thought to be worth about $25bn.

The bulk of the reported $59m in revenue that Snapchat pulled in last year was made up in Q4, during which the messaging app scaled up its advertising business and raked in $33m.

The company has apparently predicted to pull in between $250m and $350m this year, rising to a forecast of $1bn by 2017.

Over the past 12 months, Snapchat has streamlined what it can offer to advertisers, toying with formats including Sponsored Lenses, and more recently a ticketing ad unit for 20th Century Fox. It's also been working with media-owners across its Discovery section, signing up the likes of Daily Mail and BuzzFeed as partners.

Additionally, the app has been trying to make it easier for brands to access analytics on the platform, via a series of tie ups; including one with Nielsen which lets marketers measure ads on the platform the same way they would a TV campaign.

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