据报道雅虎将对Snapchat投资约2000万美元，对Snapchat的估值为100亿美元。这笔投资要产生高达51倍的回报率，Snapchat的估值将需要达到5010亿美元左右。若果真如此，Snapchat将成为在美国交易所挂牌的第二大企业，市值仅低于苹果（Apple）。如此一来，Snapchat的市值将比目前排在第二位的能源巨头埃克森美孚（Exxon Mobil）高出1000亿美元，更别提微软（Microsoft）、强生（Johnson & Johnson）、富国银行（Wells Fargo）、通用电气（General Electric）、沃尔玛（Wal-Mart）之流了。阿里巴巴就更不用提了，该公司的市值仅约2160亿美元。
After the WSJ reported last Friday that Yahoo YHOO -1.42% is in talks to invest in messaging company Snapchat, I pointed out that the deal would contradict a senior Yahoo’s recent statements about how corporate venture capital investing is a distracting “hobby.”
A few readers emailed to suggest I missed the boat, mostly echoing the succinct Ryan: “Yahoo is able to invest in Snapchat because of the money it made from its earlier investment in Alibaba. It probably views this as its next Alibaba.”
No, it doesn’t. Because it can’t.
To be clear, I’m not saying this as an indictment of Snapchat. I’m saying it as someone who passed fourth-grade math.
Yahoo’s original $1 billion investment in Alibaba BABA -0.72% is currently valued at around $51.1 billion, if you include three things: (1) The 2012 share buyback, which included $6.3 billion in cash; (2) The IPO, which generated around $9.4 billion for Alibaba; and (3) Yahoo’s remaining stock holdings in Alibaba, which are valued at around $35.4 billion. Or, put another way, a return of around 51x.
Yahoo’s reported deal for Snapchat would be an investment of around $20 million at a $10 billion valuation. To get the same multiple, Snapchat would need to be valued at around $501 billion. For context, that would make it the second-largest company traded on a U.S. exchange, behind only Apple AAPL -0.87% . It would be more than $100 billion larger than current second-place company Exxon Mobil, and not to mention such companies as Microsoft MSFT -1.22% , Johnson & Johnson JNJ -2.36% , Wells Fargo WFC -1.83% , General Electric GE -1.63% and Wal-Mart WMT -0.06% . Not to mention Alibaba, which only is valued at around $216 billion.
But even if Snapchat — a company that so far has yet to generate revenue — somehow becomes an Apple-like outlier, Yahoo still would not get the same bang because it’s putting in fewer bucks. Were Snapchat to hit the 51x mark, its investment would be worth just over $1 billion. That’s a phenomenal return on relatively little risk, but wouldn’t give future Yahoo anywhere near the financial flexibility that current Yahoo received from Alibaba.
Yahoo’s anticipated investment in Snapchat raises a lot of questions. But one certain answer is that it will not be Alibaba, The Sequel.