60 million photos now being shared every day.
Photo sharing service Snapchat has raised $13.5 million, following the completion of a Series A funding round led by Benchmark Capital.
According to the New York Times, the investment now values Snapchat between $60 million and $70 million.
Since launching in September 2011, the uptake for Snapchat has been increasingly strong, with an estimated 60 million photos being shared via the service every day.
Snapchat works by allowing users to send picture messages that self-delete within a period of one-ten seconds after the recipient has viewed the image. When the image is deleted it is deleted permanently from both the Snapchat server and the smartphone.
However, Snapchat has earned itself something of a controversial reputation, after many users began utilising the application as a tool for sharing sexually explicit images.This became a particularly notable issue when fast-fingered users discovered that they could take a screen shot of images before they self-destructed.
Despite this reputation, Snapchat co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy maintain that the service supports a multitude of purposes. "You can't build a business off sexting," Spiegel said. "It's such a specific-use case. This is about much more than that."
Spiegel and Murphy have yet to begin monetising the free to download application, although insiders have indicated that Snapchat could allow advertisers to send coupons or fashion tips as a means to generate revenues.