Think you get a lot of value out of Snapchat's disappearing messages, payments and stories? You're not the only one. Bloomberg sources claim that Alibaba, China's online shopping behemoth, plans to invest $200 million into Snapchat on the assumption that it's worth $15 billion. That doesn't even include separate talks that are reportedly bent on raising another $500 million. It's not certain why Alibaba is so interested in the service, although its stake in smartphones is probably a big clue. The company wants to promote mobile shopping and otherwise get a foothold on your phone, and services like Snapcash would go a long way toward making that happen.
Neither Snapchat nor Alibaba is speaking up about the deal. Assuming it goes through, however, the investment would suggest that Snapchat is growing very quickly. It raised cash last year on the assumption that it was worth $10 billion, and even a more established name like Twitter "only" racked up $1.4 billion in revenue last year. In short, the blink-and-you'll-miss it chat service is probably here for the long haul.
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