Business Technology

Friday 23 February 2018

Snapchat IPO makes millions for Californian high school

Snapchat has more than 150 million daily active users. Photo: Bloomberg
Snapchat has more than 150 million daily active users. Photo: Bloomberg

John Wadsworth

A Californian high school that invested in Snapchat’s parent company five years ago has reportedly made $24m (€22.6m) from selling a portion of its shares when the company listed on the New York Stock Exchange this week.

Saint Francis High School in Mountain View made the investment at the suggestion of Barry Eggers, a partner at a local investment firm called Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Mr Eggers was introduced to Snapchat by his daughter Natalie, a pupil at Saint Francis High School, and subsequently made a visit to Stanford University to meet the app’s founders, Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy.

Ten days later, Lightspeed invested $485,000 in Snap, Snapchat’s owner. Mr Eggers encouraged Saint Francis High School to invest a further $15,000 from a special development fund set up by a group of parents and the school's former president, according to the BBC.

Stocks in Sanp rocketed by over 44pc over the course of Thursday, the company’s first day of public trading, from $17 to $24.48.

According to Reuters, an intra-day high of $26.05 on Thursday temporarily gave Snap a market value of $29.1bn.

“It’s been amazing for us to watch how far Evan and Bobby and Snap have come since that kitchen table conversation between my daughter and me,” Mr Eggers wrote in a blog post.

The BBC reported that Saint Francis High School sold many of its shares for an approximate total of $24m when markets opened on Thursday.

Simon Chiu, the school’s president, broke the “momentous news”  in a letter to parents, thanking Mr Eggers for providing “a unique investment opportunity”.

The school, which currently charges tuition of $17,370 a year according to its website, plans to use the return on its investment to “make Catholic education more affordable and accessible to our community”.

Independent News Service

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