Snapchat shrugs off Brexit to choose London over Dublin for its latest HQ

Facebook, Google and LinkedIn all previously chose Ireland for their European bases.


SNAP, THE COMPANY behind the picture-based messaging app Snapchat, has chosen London as its international headquarters, praising the UK for its creative industries.

It comes after Facebook, Google and Apple last year announced major investments in London, underlining the capital’s status as a technology hub as Britain prepares to exit the European Union.

“I am happy to confirm that the UK is the Snap Inc. family’s hub outside the US,” a Snap spokeswoman said.

The decision by Snap to make London its main international hub differs from the approach taken by several other US tech giants, including Google, Facebook and LinkedIn, which have chosen Dublin as the bases for their European operations.

Snap has around 75 staff in the UK, up from six a year ago, and is looking to add a nearby site to its office in London’s Soho district, the spokeswoman added.

“We believe in the UK creative industries,” said Claire Valoti, general manager of Snap’s UK operations, in a statement.

“The UK is where our advertising clients are, where more than 10 million daily Snapchatters are, and where we’ve already begun to hire talent.”

IPO ready

The firm behind the popular disappearing message application says it has more than 150 million daily active users, including 50 million in Europe.

Snap’s UK entity will book revenues from customers in the UK and countries where there is no local entity or sales force. The company’s only other European entity is in Paris. It is yet to deliver a profit, so the decision to locate in the UK over Ireland is unlikely to be motivated by the immediate tax benefits of operating in either territory.

In November, Snap reportedly filed confidential paperwork for a public share offering valuing the messaging platform at as much as $25 billion.

The initial public offering (IPO) would be among the biggest in the tech sector in recent years and shine a light on the fast-growing platform.

Snapchat is famous for mobile messages and photos that disappear after being viewed by the recipient.

© – AFP 2017 with reporting by Rónán Duffy