Venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer is investing $20m into messaging app startup Snapchat, an investment that the Wall Street Journal claims values it at close to $10bn - according to "people with knowledge of the matter".
Such a valuation would elevate Snapchat - which was only founded three years ago, in September 2011 - into a record high-value start-up bracket, inhabited only by the likes of Uber and AirBnB.
Snapchat's function is to provide a service for photo messages suitable for controlled recipients, and controlled time periods.
As well as enabling people to send photos of their funny faces - or worse - part of the app's estimated valuation is a belief that it will soon start running advertising, or even branch out into wider services.
Due to the potentially 'sensitive' nature of the app's core use, the company launched Snapkidz in 2013, for children aged 13 and under, as well as an advertising-linked "Snapchat Stories" feature in late 2013, which users to link together content that lasts for 24-hour periods.
Snapchat turned down a $3bn acquisition offer from Facebook in 2013, so founders Evan Spiegel and Jonathan May were clearly already aware that the app's fortunes - and theirs - would continue to rise.
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