Alibaba said to be mulling a stake in Snapchat, at $10 billion valuation

This week’s bubble-icious rumor:  Alibaba, the Chinese Internet giant, is reportedly talking with Snapchat about making an investment that would value the Southern California mobile messaging start-up at $10 billion.

Remember when we were all amazed at reports last year that Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel had turned down a Facebook offer to buy the company – for a then-whopping $3 billion?

Snapchat didn’t even make money back then. Oh wait, it still doesn’t.  But online companies know that the idea of sending messages that disappear after a few seconds is highly appealing to some Internet users, particularly teens.

And absence of revenue didn’t stop Facebook from buying WhatsApp earlier this year for $19 billion in cash and stock. WhatsApp has 500 million users; SnapChat doesn’t disclose user numbers.

Neither Alibaba nor SnapChat have confirmed the talks, but Bloomberg News reports that unnamed sources say they’re ongoing.

 

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