This week Snap Inc, creator of mobile messaging platform Snapchat, saw an impressive trading debut on the New York Stock Exchange, outperforming the former milestone debuts of Facebook, Alibaba and Google
SNAP is a success and the investors have warned up.
In the first ever US IPO with no voting rights, Snapchat’s stock price has soared on the first two days of trading taking the market cap to $31b—$20b more than its competitor, Twitter.
So what can African founders learn from the IPO roadshow presentation of a self-proclaimed “camera company”?
That it’s really just all about the lost art of storytelling. Before ever diving into the impressive user engagement statistics (158m users, 2.5b snaps, avg. 30 minutes spent per day), Evan Spiegel takes a step back to reframe Snapchat as the answer to the very human desire to express oneself and feel closer to others, giving texture to why the product is so transformational and addictive.
The presentation is heavy on visuals over text, full of a cast of characters, and supporting data is easily consumable with one powerful soundbite per slide.
For SNAP, it was the persuasive narrative that was the difference between a 26-year old getting a $24bn valuation rather than a fall-on-your-face debut for a company that is still losing $514m a year.
While a massive IPO might not be the next stop for most Africa entrepreneurs, the Snapchat roadshow could be the perfect playbook for the next funding round.
The key is not just the statistics, but story. You just have to be a good story teller to make progress in your fundraising. It is an aspirational process which one must learn to tap into.