Saturday 21 September 2019

Pinterest sets sights on £1.1bn in IPO

The digital scrapbooking site is among a number of tech companies planning to go public this year.

Evan Sharp, Pinterest’s co-founder and chief product officer (Ben Margot/AP)
Evan Sharp, Pinterest’s co-founder and chief product officer (Ben Margot/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Pinterest, which is among a number of tech companies planning to go public this year, hopes to raise as much as 1.5 billion dollars (£1.1 billion) in its initial offering of shares.

The digital scrapbooking site said in a regulatory filing that it will put about 75 million shares up for sale at a price between 15 dollars (£11.50) and 17 dollars (£13.03) each.

At the higher end, that could put the value of the company at around nine billion dollars (£6.9 billion), below the estimated 12 billion dollar (£9.2 billion) value from earlier sales of shares to investors, according to reports two years ago.

IPOs from tech companies have dominated headlines this year.

The arrival of Lyft late last month did little to answer questions about how best to value tech companies with lots of potential but not much in the way of profits, at least not yet.

While Lyft has bounced back from a sell-off that dropped its shares well below its initial offering price, they remain below the heights reached in the flurry of first-day trading.

Lyft’s rival Uber, messaging app Slack and video conferencing company Zoom are expected to make their debut soon.

Pinterest claims more than 250 million active monthly users and more than two billion monthly searches.

The platform allows people to search for and “pin” images that interest them, whether it is fashion, sport, pets or travel.

Pinterest has long shunned the label of being a social network.

It does not push users to add friends or build connections.

That means it has avoided the privacy tangles that have ensnared companies such as Facebook.

Pinterest makes advertising revenue when businesses promote pins in users’ feeds.

The San Francisco company had revenue of 756 million dollars (£579 million) last year, a 60% bump from 2017.

It had a loss of 63 million dollars (£48 million) in 2018, compared with a loss of 130 million dollars (£99.5 million) in 2017.

Pinterest was founded in 2010 by Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp, who are the company’s chief executive and chief product officer respectively.

The company has been working on developing its artificial intelligence search, which allows people to take a photo or upload a screenshot of an item and find similar products on Pinterest.

Pinterest’s stock will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the PINS ticker symbol.

PA Media

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