Snapchat maker Snap Inc. wants to become "a camera company," as revealed by the firm's new video dedicated to its roadshow that's meant to set the stage for Snap's initial public offering (IPO). The 35-minute video states that the Venice-based social media giant is looking to evolve past its ephemeral messaging roots and focus on developing both hardware and software with the goal of competing with Facebook. Snap's recent filing with the New York Stock Exchange revealed as much, but the company's new roadshow video goes into much more detail regarding the firm's long-term business strategy.
Simply speaking, Snap is trying to create more gadgets similar to Spectacles and pair them with existing Snapchat features, as well as new software. The goal of this endeavor is to create a unique, multimedia-focused ecosystem that not only attracts users but is also suitable for product placement and traditional ads. The Venice-based firm already started realizing its ambitions by opening a new development lab and hiring hundreds of new hardware engineers, the video reveals, adding that Snap is also in the process of considering new acquisitions that would help it fulfill that vision. Snap has acquired nine companies to date and this latest turn of events suggest that the company may utilize a more aggressive acquisition strategy in the future.
Apart from imaging hardware, Snap revealed that it's currently developing new augmented reality (AR) technologies that are meant to complement its future product portfolio. Market watchers met Snap's roadshow video with a degree of skepticism seeing how software companies that dabbled into hardware historically failed in their endeavors, save for Apple. Snap's new hardware focus perhaps wouldn't be such a huge issue if the company wasn't using it as the basis for its IPO. The last camera-focused startup that went public is GoPro whose stock is currently down by more than 60 percent compared to its 2014 IPO valuation. Snap is reportedly looking for a valuation of up to $22 billion once it goes public next month. The approach that the company decided to adopt suggests that Snap is going all-in with its IPO and is seeing it as the last big opportunity to raise huge amounts of cash from investors in an effort to finance its incredibly ambitious business strategy. The full video describing Snap's long-term plans can be seen by following the link below.