While Snapchat has built a business based on messages that vanish after they're read, the startup has apparently had no trouble making millions of dollars in funding materialize.
The ephemeral message service, which famously turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook last year, has secured an investment of up to $20 million from venture-capital investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The investment round, the company's fourth since early last year, would give the startup a valuation of $10 billion, sources told the Journal.
CNET has contacted Kleiner Perkins for comment on the report and will update this story when we learn more.
A Snapchat representative declined to comment on the report.
"The valuation of our business and our capital requirements are the least exciting aspects of supporting the Snapchat community. We have no further comment at this time," a Snapchat spokeswoman told CNET in an emailed statement.
The 3-year-old mobile app, extremely popular with youngsters, offers people an way to send text, pictures, and videos to friends that disappear after a few seconds. Members upload more than 400 million images every day, CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel said last October.
ComScore, an industry researcher, said earlier this month that Snapchat was the third-most popular social media app among people between the ages of 18 and 34.
The Los Angeles-based startup, which has virtually no revenue, has been discussing a new service called "Snapchat Discovery" that would allow media companies and other advertisers a way to display ads to Snapchat's users, according to a Journal report last week. Snapchat, which declined to comment on the report, is expected to launch the service in November.
Snapchat closed three rounds of funding in 2013, beginning in February with a $13.5 billion round led by Benchmark Capital that valued Snapchat at between $60 million and $70 million. Four months later, the company raised $60 million in funding in June for an $800 million valuation, followed by the revelation in December that it had raised $54.5 million in Series C equity financing. The final 2013 round of financing was disclosed in a regulatory filing that suggested a valuation at the time of $2 billion.