Shortly before the Snap IPO, audience members at a webinar on valuing social media asked several good questions. Just a few big players dominate the market for online advertising, so how can Snap capture enough? Are we in another “internet bubble” that may burst? Mark Zyla (Acuitas), who conducted the webinar, remembers back in 1999 doing valuations for internet firms with no revenue, but he says it’s a different situation today because they’re banking on advertisers. The new technology allows for target marketing, and advertisers are willing to pay for that, he says. He was certainly right about that: Snap’s IPO exceeded expectations and was the largest since the Alibaba IPO in 2014.
Extra: Prior to the IPO, Aswath Damodaran (Stern School of Business, New York University) did his valuation of Snap in his blog, backed up by his narrative of the company. Speaking of which, the professor just released his newest book, Narrative and Numbers: The Value of Stories in Business.
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