A portrait of the Snapchat logo in Ventura, California
A portrait of the Snapchat logo in Ventura, CaliforniaReuters

Photo messaging app Snapchat is planning a further funding round that would value the company as high as $19bn, according to media reports.

At $19bn (£12.4bn, €16.7bn), Snapchat will be the third-most valuable venture-capital-backed company in the world, behind Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi and ride-hailing firm Uber that are valued at $45bn and $40bn, respectively, Bloomberg reported, citing research firm CB Insights.

In its latest fundraising move, the company that provides a mobile application for sending disappearing photos and videos is planning to raise as much as $500m. The company executives are in advanced discussions with fund managers.

Earlier in January 2015, the company said it raised $485.6m from 23 investors at a company valuation of $10bn.

While the firm did not reveal the names of new investors, media reports said tech giant Yahoo and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers were involved in the round.

Existing investors in the firm include Benchmark, General Catalyst, Lightspeed Venture Partners and DST, as well as hedge fund Coatue Management.

The fundraising justifies the company's rejection of a $3bn acquisition offer from Facebook Inc, after finding the price undervalued its potential.

To its credit, Snapchat has almost doubled the number of its active users to 200 million last year and started making money through advertisements. In October, it launched its first advertisement, promoting Universal Pictures' horror film Ouija.

In November 2014, the company along with Square launched a service called 'Snapcash' that enables its US users to transfer money to their friends.

The company says its users, mostly teenagers, send more than 700 million disappearing "snaps" and view more than 500 million stories daily.