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Snapchat quietly added a seasoned IPO specialist to its board last year, the latest sign that the fast-growing messaging app is preparing for a public-market debut even as it raises huge sums of money from private investors.
On his personal website, Meresman describes himself as a financial expert who “advises CEOs & CFOs on preparing to become a public reporting company, IPO process, operating as a public company, and scaling the company for rapid growth.”
Meresman notes on his website that he has guided four companies through their successful IPOs – LinkedIn, Zynga, Riverbed Technology, and Polycom – and he served as the CFO at chipmaker Cypress Semiconductor during its IPO.
Meresman, who serves on the boards of LinkedIn and Palo Alto Networks, joined Snapchat’s board in July 2015, according tohis LinkedIn page.
Snapchat’s representative wasn’t immediately available for comment.
The company closed a massive $1.81 billion round of funding on Thursday, according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The funding was part of a long-term effort that, according to the file, began in February 2015. No valuation was given, though the company was valued at $16 billion in previous fundraising rounds, according to media reports.
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has been clear about the company’s IPO ambitions in the past, though he has been tight-lipped about any time frame. In an appearance at the Recode conference in May 2015, Spiegel said that “we need to IPO” and said the company has a plan to do so.
Meresman appears to be a key part of that plan.
Other members of Snapchat’s board listed in Thursday’s filing include Spiegel, cofounder Robert Murphy, venture capitalist Mitch Lasky, Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, and Cosmopolitan Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles.