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Always Sell Something You Don't Own Yet And Build It Later
[Image: 20170117151316-evan-spiegel-snapchat.jpeg]

Evan Spiegel, the co-founder and CEO of Snap Inc., met with potential investors in New York City last week as the company starts to mobilize backers for its highly anticipated initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Snap, the Los Angeles-based parent company of the picture-messaging app Snapchat, filed confidential paperwork last fall for an IPO, setting the wheels in motion for what's likely to be the largest tech debut in years.
It's still expected to list its shares in late March at a value of between $20 billion and $25 billion. No decision has been made on which exchange Snap will list its shares on, sources said.
Snap was able to file confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission because it has annual revenue of under $1 billion. It can't hold formal meetings -- the official IPO "roadshow" -- with investors until 21 days after its financial statements are made publicly available. To meet a late-March-debut goal, Snap has until mid-February to make its paperwork public.
But Spiegel and his team have visited potential investors for "educational" meetings -- in other words, to introduce them to the technology and sell Spiegel's vision for the future of the company. Those meetings brought him to New York last week, the people who spoke with Business Insider said. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Snap executives have held the meetings in several cities around the U.S.
The company's 26-year-old CEO is leaving the nuts and bolts of the deal process to his chief financial officer, Drew Vollero, the former Mattel executive who joined the company in 2015, and his chief strategy officer, Imran Khan, the former Credit Suisse investment banker known for helping take Alibaba and several other tech companies public.
Spiegel will, however, be the focus of the message that management conveys to investors, three people said. He will be framed as a visionary, similar to how Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was depicted before that company's flotation.
"Evan is the visionary -- Evan is the story," one person told Business Insider.
Snap lieutenants are also scheduled to meet with stock analysts next week, according to a report earlier this week by Axios' Dan Primack. These meetings are meant to help the analysts refine their financial models -- again, ahead of the release of official financial statements -- and the documents could be public soon after.
The precise timing of the release of the financial statements, in what's called an S-1 filing, and of the entire IPO is subject to change, of course. The timeline could be delayed if Snap faces questions from the SEC over its disclosures, if investor sentiment toward stocks sours substantially, or if early feedback from the investor meetings is somehow lackluster.

Snap declined to comment.

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