Los Angeles based Snapchat, the app for swapping disappearing messages that was in discussions last month to raise $500 million in a round of financing (that could value the company at $16 billion to $19 billion), has also sparked the interest of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.. The China’s biggest e-commerce enterprise plans to invest in the Californian company $200 million, an investment outside the abovementioned $500 million round. The deal would make Snapchat the 3rd most valuable startup, behind only mobile car-booking app Uber ($40billion) and Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi ($45 billion). The Silicon beach team is also aiming at live sports broadcasting, after the implementation of the features “stories” and “discover”. Moreover, Lyft, the major Uber’s antagonist, just announced on its website (March 11, 2015) an additional $530 million in funding from Japanese e-commerce organization Rakuten. After Facebook and Google, many others joined the Billion Dollar Startup club. Since 2011, of the 16,700 private companies that have raised venture capital, at least 73 are valued at $1 billion or more, according to an analysis by the WSJ and Down Jones VentureSource.   


(AP) 12-Mar-2015

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