Snapchat, the popular mobile app which allows users to share photographs that are automatically deleted within seconds, has been valued at a staggering $10 billion.
In the latest investment round, renowned venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers agreed to pump $20 million in Snapchat, effectively valuing the company at $10 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal citing sources familiar with the matter.
The valuation means Snapchat is now among the most valuable private tech start-ups and its co-founders, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, are set to join Silicon Valley's elite group of young billionaires even-though Snapchat lacks a clear business model.
A Snapchat spokeswoman added: "The valuation of our business and our capital requirements are the least exciting aspects of supporting the Snapchat community. We have no further comment at this time."
The mobile app is very popular among teenagers, a key demographic for advertisers, and allows users to send pictures to friends that can only be viewed for a set period of time before they are automatically deleted.
Spiegel first made headlines after he rejected a $3 billion cash offer from Facebook to buy Snapchat in 2013. At the time, the California-based start-up was valued at $2 billion.
Snapchat now has 100 million monthly users and is the third most popular mobile app among millennials, only after Facebook and Instagram, according to ComScore.
Earlier this year, Spiegel was forced to apologise for a series of e-mails in which he made a series of sexist remarks and references to drug use while he was a student at Stanford University. He dropped out of university to work on Snapchat in 2012.
In a statement, Spiegel said he was "mortified" and "embarrassed" that his "idiotic" conversations were made public, adding the e-mails “in no way” reflect his views about women.