Snapchat announced today that it has reached a settlement with Reggie Brown, the Stanford fraternity brother who came up with the idea for the disappearing message service and was then forced out of the company.
Brown sued the L.A.-based startup last year, claiming he was entitled to a third of the company, which is now reportedly valued as high as $10 billion.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. In a statement, Snapchat credited Brown with coming up with the idea.
“We are pleased that we have been able to resolve this matter in a manner that is satisfactory to Mr. Brown and the Company,” CEO Evan Spiegel said in the statement. “We acknowledge Reggie’s contribution to the creation of Snapchat and appreciate his work in getting the application off the ground.”
Brown and Spiegel were fraternity brothers at Stanford. According to his suit, Brown was hanging out in Spiegel's dorm room when he came up with the idea for an app that would delete pictures. Spiegel immediately proclaimed it a “million-dollar idea.”
That summer, Brown, Spiegel and the third co-founder, Bobby Murphy, worked on the app together at Spiegel's father's home in Pacific Palisades. Brown, an English major, was named the chief marketing officer. However, the relationship deteriorated and Brown was shut out of the company.
Snapchat now has a reported 100 million monthly users, and has rebuffed multibillion-dollar acquisition offers. According to his LinkedIn page, Brown is now a master's student at the Duke University business school.