Snapchat
Snapchat owner Snap currently has a market cap of around $15bn.Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Snap, the parent company of social network Snapchat, reportedly turned down an offer to be bought by Google for $30bn (£23bn).

Headed by 27-year-old chief executive Evan Spiegel, Snap currently has a market cap of around $15bn, valuing the company at half that of Google's claimed offer.

Snap's current cap is down $5bn from a $20bn valuation in May 2016 and $9bn behind what it was worth when it floated on the stock market in March 2017.

The $30bn figure offered by Google, which is owned by parent company Alphabet, is reportedly an "open secret" among Snap employees. Three people, both inside and close to the company, have reported the figure to Business Insider, which first heard rumours of the buyout offer in 2016.

The publication said it "first heard the rumour of Google's $30bn+ interest in Snap last year and heard further tales of the discussions from more insiders over the past several days."

Google attempted to buy up Snap before it floated on the stock market, and the offer was reportedly still on the table after the floatation. But, known for his determination to run Snap on his own terms, Spiegel appears to have declined the enormous offer.

This isn't the first time the young CEO has dismissed a multi-billion dollar offer for his company. Back in 2013 he is believed to have turned down a $3bn buyout offer from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, followed by a $4bn offer from Google.

Upping the ante from $4bn to $30bn over the course of just four years shows how much Google values Snapchat, its young, engaged audience, the success of Snap's Spectacles – and how much the search giant wants to crack social media. So far, creating a service to take on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat has alluded Google, whose Google+ network never took off in the way it had hoped.