Visual discovery start-up Pinterest files for IPO

Expects to seek a valuation of around $12 billion

Afp March 24, 2019
A portrait of the Pinterest logo in Ventura, California.PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO: Pinterest, the online visual discovery platform with an estimated 250 million users, filed for a public share offering Friday, the latest of the big venture-backed start-ups to hit Wall Street.

The San Francisco-based bulletin board that connects people with interests including food, fashion, travel and lifestyle said it would trade under the symbol PINS on the New York Stock Exchange.

“Pinterest is where more than 250 million people around the world go to get inspiration for their lives,” the company said in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is expected to seek a valuation of around $12 billion.

“They come to discover ideas for just about anything you can imagine: daily activities like cooking dinner or deciding what to wear, major commitments like remodeling a house or training for a marathon, ongoing passions like fly fishing or fashion and milestone events like planning a wedding or a dream vacation.”

Documents for the initial public offering showed Pinterest lost $63 million in 2018 on revenue of $755.9 million. That compared with a loss of $130 million on $473 million in 2017 revenue.

Launched in 2010, Pinterest brings in money from its role in online shopping and from advertising.

It becomes the latest of the richly valued tech start-ups worth more than $1 billion, sometimes called “unicorns,” to hit Wall Street.

Ride-hailing giant Lyft is expected to begin trading next week and rival Uber is likely to announce terms of its IPO soon. Details of the Pinterest offering were absent, with a temporary placeholder sum of $100 million to be raised, an amount likely to rise substantially.

Like several other start-ups, Pinterest will use a dual-class share structure that enables the founders, including Chief Executive Ben Silbermann, to retain control.

The research firm eMarketer expects Pinterest’s global ad revenues to hit $1 billion this year, making up just 0.3% of the total digital ad spend.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2019.

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