The company behind Snapchat, a teen-oriented social network famous for its quickly disappearing messages, has filed for what could be one of the largest tech IPOs in years, the AP reports. Snap Inc. said Thursday that it's seeking up to $3 billion in an initial public offering, a figure that could shift based on investor demand. The app has millions of users, and Snap has built a thriving ad business on it. But the company has also made a lot of money—nearly $900 million—disappear in the past two years.
The highly anticipated IPO is expected to be the one of the largest since Alibaba Group went public in 2014. But Snap is better known than the Chinese e-commerce company, and instead draws comparisons to the IPOs of Facebook and Twitter. Facebook raised $16 billion when it went public in 2012. According to IPO documents filed on Thursday, Los Angeles-based Snap had revenue of $404.5 million in 2016, up from $58.7 million in 2015. Its net loss was $514.6 million last year, up from $372.9 million the year before. Facebook, on the other hand, was profitable in 2011, the year before its IPO, with net income of $1 billion. Twitter has never turned a profit. (Read more Snapchat stories.)