FORTUNE -- In the wake of Snapchat's massive data breach this week, one of two things has become clear. Either:
In the days since a hacker published a database of around 4.6 million Snapchat user names and phone numbers, Snapchat has issued two public statements about the breach. One came yesterday via the company's blog. It described what had happened, what Snapchat was doing to prevent further attacks and asked users to inform Snapchat about other security vulnerabilities. The second came from Spiegel himself in a highly-edited Today Show interview with Carson Daly.
In neither venue did Snapchat explicitly apologize to users for what is obviously a massive violation of user trust. This is not about whether or not Snapchat should have fixed its security hole earlier -- it had previously acknowledged being warned about this very possibility -- or about legal liability. It's about doing right by the millions of people who use the service, in large part, because it is designed to offer a more private social networking and sharing experience than do sites like Facebook (FB) or Twitter (TWTR).
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If Evan Spiegel is disinclined to apologize, or doesn't feel he should, then perhaps he really isn't up for the job. Whenever a 20-something CEO is replaced in Silicon Valley, people often say that he has been replaced by an "adult." It's usually both paternalistic and patronizing, but perhaps appropriate when the 20-something is not mature enough to say "I'm sorry."
But perhaps Spiegel really does want to utter those two words, but has been advised not to by one of those aforementioned "adults." Perhaps a board member or lawyer. In that case, then Spiegel should fire that person, or at least stop listening to them. Apologies under these circumstances are expected -- just ask Target (TGT) -- and Snapchat's failure to follow such reasonable convention has sparked a second day of stories that only serve to remind people that it was hacked.
I guess there also is a third possibility: No one has directly asked Spiegel to apologize, and his earlier failure to do so was a thoughtless oversight rather than an intentional strategy. So, just in case, I sent him an email an hour or so again with that explicit question. If he replies, I'll be sure to update this post (and rewrite lots of it). If not, someone needs to be fired.
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Why Snapchat just raised a lot less money, and at a lower price, than anyone had expected.
FORTUNE -- Two months ago, we reported that Snapchat was in talks to raise around $200 million in Series C funding at a $4 billion valuation, most likely to be led by a large strategic investor like China's Tencent. Then came word yesterday that it had raised $50 million from U.S.-based tech investment manager MOREDan Primack - Dec 12, 2013 11:59 AM ET
Snapchat raises $50 million in Series C funding.
FORTUNE -- Snapchat today confirmed that it has raised $50 million in new venture capital funding, via an SEC filing.
It is the Venice, Calif.-based company's "Series C" round, and brings its total venture capital haul to over $120 million. No information was disclosed about new investors or valuation. Research firm VCExperts had recently unearthed some state regulatory documents that authorized up MOREDan Primack - Dec 11, 2013 2:18 PM ET
Snapchat turned down a $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook. And that's okay.
FORTUNE -- When word came last month that Snapchat had turned down an acquisition offer from Facebook (FB), I wrote the following in the Term Sheet email:
Most interesting is the question of how Facebook's interest is impacting Snapchat's plan to raise new capital at a big valuation (a deal that likely will include more founder liquidity). One theory MOREDan Primack - Nov 13, 2013 2:33 PM ET
Snapchat, Pinterest and Nextdoor are all raising money before the ink is even dry on their last VC checks. Why?
FORTUNE -- Pinterest last week announced that it had raised $225 million in new funding, just eight months after raising $200 million. Then came a $60 million raise by Nextdoor, which also had secured capital back in February. And then there is Snapchat, which is seeking new funds a scant four MOREDan Primack - Oct 30, 2013 12:36 PM ET
Some founder liquidity for startups can be helpful. Too much, however, misaligns interests.
FORTUNE -- One of the most notable changes in VC financings over the past five years has been the widespread adoption of founder liquidity.
For the uninitiated, these are deals in which some of the new capital is used to buy shares from company founders, rather than to help grow the company. Oftentimes these transactions make pragmatic sense – particularly MOREDan Primack - Jun 26, 2013 11:46 AM ET
Venture capitalists have valued Snapchat at more than $800 million. Why?
FORTUNE -- Snapchat is one of the world's fastest-growing mobile apps, with users sharing more than 200 million "snaps" per day. For the uninitiated (or those over 30), "snaps" are instant messages/photos that self-destruct ten seconds or less after being viewed.
It also has one of the mobile world's fastest-growing valuations, with multiple reports out today that the company has raised MOREDan Primack - Jun 24, 2013 1:25 PM ET
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