Credit George Etheredge/The New York Times
SAN FRANCISCO â The parent of Snapchat has picked banks to lead an initial public offering of stock, its first big step toward what is expected to be one of the splashiest market debuts in over a year.
Snap Inc., as the company recently renamed itself, has picked Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to handle the offering, people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday. A number of other banks are also expected to play a role in the offering.
A Snap initial offering would be Silicon Valleyâs most awaited market debut since Twitter went public nearly three years ago. Snap was most recently valued by private investors at about $ 19 billion.
Snap makes the mobile storytelling and messaging app Snapchat, which lets users watch videos and send photos and messages to friends. The company also makes sunglasses called Spectacles that are equipped with a video camera. The investment bank Jefferies has projected Snapâs revenue to rise to $ 1 billion next year from more than $ 350 million this year.
A Snap public offering could happen as soon as the first quarter of 2017, according to one of the people briefed on the matter. It would also be one of the biggest tech I.P.O.s of late. This year, the Japanese messaging company Line went public and was valued at more than $ 9 billion after its first day of trading.
Snap will be able to file its public offering documents confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission because the company now generates less than $ 1 billion in annual revenue.
Goldman Sachs declined to comment. A Morgan Stanley representative was not immediately available to comment.
Morgan Stanley worked with Snap earlier this year on a credit facility for the company. Such debt arrangements are often viewed as precursors to a public offering. Banks often vie to lead debt facility deals in the hopes that they will be chosen to lead a public offering down the road.
Bloomberg earlier reported the selection of bankers.