Forget Ireland. Snapchat picks London as its international HQ

Chris Sacca: Passing on Snapchat cost me $1 billion
Chris Sacca: Passing on Snapchat cost me $1 billion

Snapchat is not following the tech crowd.

Snap, the company behind the app, has picked London as its international headquarters instead of more traditional destinations for major U.S. tech firms including Ireland and Luxembourg.

The move is in keeping with Snap's identity: Its U.S. headquarters is located roughly 300 miles south of Silicon Valley in the colorful beach town of Venice, California.

"The U.K. is where our advertising clients are, where more than 10 million daily Snapchatters are, and where we've already begun to hire talent," said Claire Valoti, General Manager of Snap.

Snap said its U.K. arm will book revenue from sales in the U.K. and other countries where it has no local entity or sales team. The startup has only a few offices outside the U.S.: Paris, Sydney, Toronto and Odessa, Ukraine.

snapchat uk

At 20%, the U.K. already has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe. The government has hinted at cutting the rate even further in a bit to attract more businesses head of its departure from the European Union.

Ireland, meanwhile, has a 12.5% corporate tax rate. The international headquarters of Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and LinkedIn are all located in the country.

While the U.K. is on its way out of the EU, Ireland will remain a member of the bloc.

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A huge chunk of Snapchat's European audience is in the U.K. The company said that one fifth of its daily active users in Europe are in Britain, and so are many of its biggest advertisers.

The company has more than 75 staffers in the U.K., up from just six this time last year. It plans to open an additional workspace near its offices in Soho in central London.

Snapchat launched just over five years ago and is estimated to be worth between $20 billion and $25 billion. The company famously turned down a $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook in 2013 and has plans to go public.

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