A high school in Mountain View, California, has made millions from Snap’s initial public offering (IPO) less than four years after investing $15,000 in the Los Angeles-based technology company.
Saint Francis High School was one of the first investors in the company behind the ephemeral messaging app Snapchat, having invested a small proportion of its endowment fund in Snap Inc’s seed round of financing in 2012.
Snap made its trading debut Thursday at the New York Stock Exchange. It had priced its IPO of 200 million shares at $17 each but shortly after the opening bell stock began trading significantly higher, eventually closing at $24.48 per share – up 44 percent on expectations.
Saint Francis, a private Catholic school with annual tuition fees over $17,000, sold 1.4 million shares – two thirds of its overall stake – for $17 per share at Thursday’s IPO.
The school has not confirmed its overall return but it is estimated to have made nearly $24 million, according to officials cited by NBC.
Simon Chiu, president of Saint Francis, announced the good news Thursday in a letter to parents.
“The school’s investment in Snap – which this morning announced the completion of its IPO – has matured and given us a significant boost as we continue our work towards realizing the bold vision and goals set out in our community-inspired strategic plan: leading with Hope & Zeal,” noted Chiu in the letter.
“This incredible boon will not, by itself, completely fund the goals of the strategic plan, but it will lay the necessary foundation and give us a remarkable head start,” he added.
The school first became involved in the technology firm in 2012 when Barry Eggers, a parent of two Saint Francis pupils and founding partner of venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners, became intrigued by his children’s use of the app.
Eggers met with Snap co-founders Evan Spiegal and Bobby Murphy, who at the time were working out of Stanford dorm room, and, having been suitably impressed, prompted Lightspeed to lead a $500,000 investment round – the company’s first.
Lightspeed invested $485,000 and Eggers invited Saint Francis’ to put forward the remaining $15,000 from its investment fund that had been created in 1990 by parents and former Saint Francis president Kevin Makley to support long term initiatives.
In his note to parents, Chui thanked Eggers’ for his “remarkable generosity”.
A blog post by Barry Eggers posted Thursday on Lightspeed Venture Partners’ website said: “While I’ve enjoyed Snap’s journey with my Partners as an early investor, I have the unexpected bonus of sharing the experience with my children.
“It’s been amazing for us to watch how far Evan and Bobby and Snap have come since that kitchen table conversation between my daughter and me…and how much they’ve already changed how we communicate today.”
Full story at CNBC.
This makes me sick. St. Francis is a wholly heterodox “catholic” school. It seems that God loves the wicked and hates the just.
The wicked prosper, Sawyer, or so it seems this side of Heaven.
Don’t fall into the Puritanical trap that financial success equals God’s approval. That mindset may have helped to build America’s economy, but the same has led to the sad compromise that has a once fine school dubbed “heterodox”. Much like so many formerly Catholic institutions across the country.
Ann Malley is right Sawyer! Some years ago our sons came home from a retreat and told us about a good talk they had heard. The priest talked about this very thing and it made an impact on our teenage sons. The priest talked about watching someone continuously prosper when they are not living lives that are pleasing to God. The priest said that in God’s justice, these individuals are being repaid for the kindnesses that they show to others in this life. A person can lead a very sinful life, while doing some charitable acts for others. The priest said that sometimes it even appears as if these individuals are not faced with any of the heavy crosses that the just man is asked to bear and the just man is kind to others too, so it can seem…
so unfair. The priest then said that in God’s perfect justice they are receiving their earthly reward or temporary heaven here. Then the priest asked the boys at this retreat, “Do you want your temporary heavenly reward here on earth or do you want your eternal reward in heaven? If God shows this fairness and justice in this life to those who greatly offend Him, and without ever repenting, then what is in store for those who served him faithfully while bearing their uniquely fashioned cross?
“But, as it is written: That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, what things God has prepared for them that love him.” St. Paul to the Corinthians Chapter 2:9
Can’t believe you all are so negative! This is an amazing story!
Kudos to the school admin. for taking a financial risk and congrats on having it pay off! If they are in need of a spiritual awakening, perhaps they will pray for divine guidance as they make plans for their windfall. Hope that is it used for the good of souls under their spiritual care.
Bravo to the parent who brought the investment opportunity to the school’s attention – that’s called parent involvement :) Well done sir!
Can’t believe you’ve missed the point entirely, Kristin.
Kudos is great for the return on investment. It’s a great lesson in playing the market. Absolutely fabulous. But, and here’s the “negative” part, if you’ve actually attended Saint Francis High School while knowing what the Catholic Church teaches, you may not be so bubbly and focused on financial gain.
The “good” of souls under their spiritual care is exactly why those who know better aren’t jumping up and down at this yee-haw windfall. So, while praying for discernment is always great, it’s often better to have the spiritual goods first – not the money.
Well done, Sir, is the parental involvement that not only brings in the $$$, but brings up the Faith. Going…
… for the $$$ is what has compromised Catholic education, Kristen.
That’s why schools are increasingly looking to what will make their students more marketable, not more faithful.
My point Ann Malley, is that a parent offered good advice, the school took it, and it paid off handsomely. People often judge the “deservability” of the recipient of a large cash windfall, mainly due to an unspoken smarting of envy. The school did not sell out for this money, it was a legitimate business decision that lead to it. How they use it should of course be in line with their Catholic mission, and if their path is in need of change, the spotlight of this financial gain just might be what the Lord had in mind to further His work in their vineyard.
Your point was that others were being negative, Kristin. That point was taken.
You rushed to judgment, assuming others were motivated by envy in speaking as they did. Why? I don’t know.
Nobody implied that the school “sold out” to get the money. The rationale is that St. Francis has given over fidelity to Catholic teaching long ago, courting novelty and heterodoxy as far back as the ’70’s. And they have. The windfall, therefore, will indeed be used to continue with “their” Catholic mission. Not necessarily “the” Catholic mission.
So, look forward to more kids being indoctrinated to think gay is great and that we should all just chill, Kristen. Perhaps the spotlight needs to be placed on Catholics who dismiss that which…
… should be corrected for fear of feeling negative.
Otherwise, why bother to correct others on the “gender bender” threads? “Could be” and “well maybe” should be substituted, no? Can’t have it both ways.
Not to be too cynical: what would be the reaction if, like most start-ups, this one had failed?
Fortunately, the school limited its initial investment to a relatively small amount.
Is it possible to teach the kids to be marketable and faithful at the same time? When we complain about a school not being truly Catholic, etc. I often wonder how we know. Did the commentator attend the school, have kids or grandkids who attended, visited the school, etc.? Has the commentator reviewed the curriculum to see what is taught, studied the Mission and Vision and strategic plan? It is just too easy to complain about our institutions and call them less than worthy if it is only our opinion rather than fact. Too, events of ten or fifteen years ago don’t mean that the situation remains. When I was in high school I had a really bad teacher, in my opinion, but that doesn’t mean the school was bad. Just saying.
It is too easy to pretend that a Catholic label makes everything Catholic.
And, yes, our kids can be marketable and faithful at the same time. But, whether we like it or not, fidelity to Catholic teachings, all of them, sometimes comes at a price, Bob One. When the focus shifts to meeting corporate job needs and not ruffling feathers, quite often, it is faithfulness that gets left to one side.
When we see the fruits of heterodoxy all around us, I often wonder why adults think that this condition happened in a vacuum. Could it be that they don’t want to think about the root causes? Could it be that they prefer to anesthetize themselves with sentiments better left in early childhood? Could it be that they care less for their children…
… than for their food or home?
After all, we follow an ant trail to its end to eradicate it, no? We would root out a rat’s nest, no? But a heterodox school, no, no, that’s okay. Let’s just smile and not ask ourselves “how” this invasion of disbelief within the Catholic Church is occurring. God help us!