SALT LAKE CITY — Snap Inc. said it has not committed to locating a new office in Lehi, despite a report Tuesday by a tech website.
In a statement to the Deseret News Wednesday, a company spokesman said Snap Inc. — the company behind Snapchat, Spectacles and Bitmoji — was exploring opportunities in Utah, as well as other locations, and as part of that process was also interviewing local talent. He also added that the source of the rumors may have spawned from the company having a couple of employees who have homes in Utah and who would like to see the company add a presence here.
Marlin Eldred, Lehi's economic development director, said the fast-growing Utah County community, which is already playing host to many of Utah's biggest innovation companies, would be happy to add Snap to its list of local tech firms.
“We are aware that Snapchat is considering Utah as one of its potential locations," Eldred said. "As with any business, we welcome the possible opportunity to have them join our community.”
The 6-year-old company, best known for its popular Snapchat instant messaging app that automatically deletes messages after the sender and recipient view them, is working to retool itself, according to 27-year-old founder Evan Spiegel. The company's stock value has been on a rocky ride since it became available to the public in March. At an event held earlier this month by Vanity Fair, Spiegel said the company was leveraging the capital it raised through its public offering to build the foundation for long-term growth. The notoriously media-shy founder also underscored the need for him and other company leaders to do a better job communicating with their shareholders and the public.
“What’s really interesting is when you go public, you really need to explain to a huge new investor base how your business works," Spiegel said. "At the same time, there’s also all these new regulations about what you can and can’t say and how you can communicate. I think one thing we’ve been going through this year is how to communicate the Snap story.”
The company has been under scrutiny by the investment community after a downward slide in its stock price in the months following a much ballyhooed initial public offering last March. Snap Inc. stock first became available at $17 a share, rose briefly to just over $27 a share and since that time has dipped as low as about $12 a share. At the end of trading Wednesday, share prices stood at $15.98, giving the company a market capitalization of $19.1 billion.
A current bright spot for the company is the unexpected level of success of its Spectacles product. The camera-equipped glasses can connect directly with the wearer's Snapchat account, and 150,000 pairs have sold in the first year of production. Spiegel told Vanity Fair that volume of sales outperformed their projections by 50 percent.