Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel said India is too poor a country to expand its business to, a former employee of the company has alleged in a lawsuit.
The former employee, Anthony Pompliano, alleges that the comment was made in a 2015 meeting discussing user growth. An employee raised a concern about the app’s slow growth in a market like India which has a growing mobile penetration. Spiegel then cut off the employee mid-sentence, saying: "This app is only for rich people. I don't want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain."
Variety magazine reported the comment earlier this week, when Pompliano's allegations were made public.
Pompliano has sued Snapchat for presenting inflated metrics about user data to its investors while going for an IPO.
“Snapchat was inflating its registration completion rate, which it claimed was about 87%. In fact, it was less than 40%. The company was also claiming to retain 40% of its users after seven days when in fact the figure was closer to 20%,” he claimed.
The comments have invoked angry reactions from Indian users, with some even threatening to quit the social platform.
Founded in 2011, Snapchat was originally called Picaboo. Facebook had offered to acquire the company for $3 billion in November 2013 but the proposal was rejected by its founders.
Before going public in March 2017, it had raised a funding of $2.62 billion from investors such as Yahoo, Fidelity Investments, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Alibaba, and others.