Bay Area School Gets Rich Quick On Snapchat Investment

Saint Francis High School just taught us all a lesson in finance.

The Mountain View, California, private school parlayed a $15,000 Snapchat investment it made years ago into more than $20 million after the social-sharing company went public in a big way on Thursday, CBS in San Francisco reported.

“I’m not so sure that I call it divine intervention, but I’ll tell you what: If you can turn $15,000 into the vast amount of money that this return will bring, then you have to say God’s looking out for us,” former school president Kevin Makley told the station.

IPO shares of Snap Inc. jumped on the New York Stock Exchange from $17 to $24.48 in the company’s debut on Thursday.

Current school president Simon Chiu estimated the profit to be in the “neighborhood of $23 million.”

Saint Francis High School got in on the action in 2012 when school parent Barry Eggers persuaded the school’s investment fund to back Snapchat after watching his daughter and her friends tinkering with the app, according to the Mountain View Voice.

“We didn’t have real high expectations,” former president Makley told CNN. “We collectively decided that this was going to be a … small investment. So we’ll take a shot at it.”

According to the CBS segment, numerous stock splits before the IPO meant the school was holding millions of shares. It sold two-thirds of those shares at the IPO price.

Chiu told the Voice he hopes to beef up the school’s endowment fund to help families in need ― but said it will be up to the school board to decide how to allocate the money.

“We want to make this education accessible to as many students and families as possible,” he said.

NBCUniversal Invested $500 Million In Snap Inc As Part Of IPO

Comcast Corp’s (CMCSA.O) NBCUniversal said on Friday it had invested $500 million in Snap Inc (SNAP.N) as it continues to spend heavily on digital media companies.

Snap’s shares jumped 8.6 percent to $26.59 in early trading. The company finished its first day of trading with a 44 percent gain compared to its IPO price of $17.00.

The investment was made as a part of the Snapchat owner’s initial public offering, NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke said in a memo to employees.

Earlier, CNBC reported that Snap’s stock allocation to NBCUniversal seems to be the only one made to a new strategic investor, making NBCUniversal the lone U.S. media company with a stake.

Comcast has invested heavily in digital-native companies such as BuzzFeed and Vox Media, partly in an effort to better service existing advertisers.

“With the Snap investment, we have invested over $1.5 billion in promising digital businesses in the last eighteen months,” Burke said in the memo.

NBCUniversal has already launched entertainment programs such as The Voice, SNL and E! News’ The Rundown on Snapchat. The media company said it expects to launch more Snapchat shows in the coming weeks.

NBCUniversal has agreed to hold Snap’s shares for at least a year, according to the CNBC report.

Snap disclosed last month that it expected investors buying up to a quarter of its shares in the company’s $3.4 billion initial public offering to agree not to sell them for a year.

Lock-up periods help companies moderate stock volatility by preventing company insiders from selling their shares within an allotted time.

NBCUniversal courted Snap co-founder Evan Spiegel for the past year, CNBC said, and both companies have been working on deepening their relationship.

Snap declined to comment beyond details noted in its prospectus and other U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Comcast’s shares were marginally lower.

(Reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Anya George Tharakan; Editing by Maju Samuel)