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Snapchat could be worth $19bn after funding round

A funding round could value Snapchat at $19bn, making it the third-most valuable tech firm which does not trade shares publicly.

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The self-destructing messaging app Snapchat is looking to raise up to $500m (£325m) in a new funding round, according to a company source cited by Bloomberg.

If the money is raised, it would mean the company has doubled in value since last year - when it raised $486m (£314m) from investors including Yahoo.

The app was developed by Evan Spiegel, who turned down a $3bn (£1.94bn) takeover offer from Facebook in 2013.

The 24-year-old is understood to have a 15% stake in the company, which would be worth $2.85bn (£1.85bn) if Snapchat hits its $19bn valuation.

Snapchat is particularly attractive to advertisers because it has younger users than many other social networks.

On Friday, Snapchat branched out from its core service, launching the first UK and Ireland-specific channels for its Discover service.

Sky News and Sky Sports now feature on the platform, publishing an edition each afternoon with stories specifically created for the app.

At $19bn, Snapchat would be the third-most valuable tech firm that does not trade its shares publicly.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is worth an estimated $46bn (£29bn), while taxi app Uber is valued at $41bn (£26.6bn).

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