Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA.N) is investing $ 200 million in Snapchat photo-messaging application, a person familiar with the source said, tapping his last agreement Silicon Valley as the Chinese e-commerce company builds mobile services. The investment values the company based in Los Angeles, at about $ 15 billion, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the situation. This places the four year old company in the top startups of private property.
With Snapchat blocked in China is not immediately clear what value would the launch of Alibaba, which manages more trade online Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and eBay Inc (EBAY.O) combined.
Alibaba, which has seen a steady increase in purchases via smartphones and tablets, has become a priority for the development of mobile services. But his attempt to create a popular messaging application has not been successful, going against (0700.HK) Service WeChat ubiquitous rival Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Tencent, the largest networking and social entertainment company in China, also invested in Snapchat in 2013, TechCrunch reported at the time.
"We know that Tencent driven ahead of Alibaba mobile with WeChat, so Snapchat as the" it "enterprise social networking of youth in the West has an obvious appeal," said Duncan Clark, managing director of the consulting company director Beijing-based BDA.
Large Internet companies in China are making these investments partly as a defensive measure against the other, with a potential financial returns and partnership in China if regulations permit, Clark said.
"It is better, from their perspective to win virtually no money in the bank. It is small bets for them," Clark said.
Last valuation Snapchat, if accurate, would be a massive increase for a company that Facebook Inc (FB.O) offered to buy in late 2013 for $ 3 billion.
Snapchat, which lets users send 100 million messages disappear in seconds, had tried to capital to expand their basic service. In January, it began to take videos and articles in mainstream media such as CNN and ESPN, bringing Snapchat in closer competition with Facebook and Twitter Inc (TWTR.N).
An attractive potential Alibaba could be the use of Snapchat as a paid service, as the Chinese company seeks to connect consumers and merchants in China and the United States. This includes pave the way for cross-border cooperation payments.In Snapchat November launched a service for users to send money to each other in a partnership with the online payment company Square.
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