Google offered at least $30 billion to acquire Snap Inc. early last year in another bid to establish a large presence in social media after Google+ failed. According to Business Insider’s Alex Heath, who cites three inside sources familiar with the matter, the offer was an “open secret” among Snap’s higher-ups and remained on the table after Snap’s IPO in March 2017.
Snap has denied the story and told Techcrunch that “these rumors are false”, whereas Google declined to comment. It’s possible that Google’s offer was an exploratory bid made to Snap as it considered its options prior to going public.
In any case, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel evidently rejected the offer and took his company public a little over a year later. The Stanford graduate similarly spurned Facebook’s bid to acquire his company for a paltry $3 billion, which has prompted Mark Zuckerberg’s company to aggressively copy Snapchat’s core features.
While Zuckerberg and Spiegel have little affection for each other, Spiegel reportedly has a close relationship with Alphabet’s chairman Eric Schmidt, who was an early advisor to the Snap CEO. Alphabet’s investment fund CapitalG ended up investing in Snap, while Snap has promised to spend $2 billion on Google’s cloud services.
After news of Google’s offer broke, Snap’s stock experienced an uptick of 1.74% to $12.87, bringing its current market capitalization up to about $15.2 billion. Though this is still a far cry from its post-IPO peak of $30.4 billion and the $30 billion offered by Google, the news has renewed speculation about the possible merits of an acquisition.
Google would be able to establish a firm foothold in the social media space with teenagers while Snap would gain capital to invest in research and development for its AR and camera technology.