Snapchat, the image messaging app created by a pair of Stanford University students, is one of the “Millennial” tools that is the subject of constant derision. It’s designed specifically for selfies and with the intention of impermanence, so it’s alleged to be shallow and pointless. Some of their detractors have been able to point to very public issues—like the app’s hacking invasion in 2013 that saw a massive breach of privacy, or the lawsuit by a car crash victim in 2015 that alleged that the app had encouraged the person who hit him to speed.
So one wonders why Snap Inc.’s newest venture is not happening in the headlines. With no public announcement, Snap Inc. has established the Snap Foundation, an education-oriented nonprofit. All there is to know about it so far is what it says on their IPO application, called an S-1.
“In February 2017, we established the Snap Foundation,” the S-1 reads. “After this offering, we and our co-founders have each pledged to donate up to 13,000,000 shares of our Class A common stock to the Snap Foundation over the course of the next 15 to 20 years. We anticipate that the proposed programs of the Snap Foundation will support arts, education, and youth.”
Currently, those 13 million shares are presumed to be worth about $300 million, if the company is still at its last official valuation of $25 billion. It could be worth much, much more. We won’t know until the company’s stock officially goes public in March.
Previously, Snap Inc. has raised money for AIDS research and community service in Venice, California, the company’s hometown.
Snapchat founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy join a number of other tech company executives who have turned their wealth toward philanthropy, particularly in the area of education.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, founded the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which focuses on science and education, in 2015. In 2000, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda formed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which focuses its efforts in the U.S. on education and healthcare.
Photo: kenary820 / Shutterstock, Inc.