Pinterest Prices IPO to Raise More Than $1.2B

The conservative pricing raises "questions about investor demand for prominent but unprofitable technology companies."
Matthew HellerApril 9, 2019

Pinterest has priced its initial public offering conservatively, giving it a valuation that is lower than its last round of private-equity funding.

In an amended prospectus, the social media platform said it would sell 75 million shares to the public at between $15 and $17 per share. Underwriters have the option to purchase an additional 11.25 million shares.

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At the high point, the offering would raise $1.2 billion. In terms of valuation, Pinterest would be worth between $10 billion and $11.3 billion.

The company’s last private-funding valuation in 2017 was around $12.3 billion, which, according to The New York Times, raises “questions about investor demand for prominent but unprofitable technology companies that are stampeding toward the stock market.”

Uber is expected to go public in the next few months at a valuation of around $120 billion, in what would be the biggest IPO by a U.S. company. Other smaller tech companies planning public offerings include Zoom, PagerDuty, and Slack.

After early and strong trading in Lyft’s market debut last month, the stock dipped on the second day of trading.

“People are looking at Lyft and realizing that even if the road show goes extremely well and there is a lot of demand, you can’t overprice the offering,” Elliot Lutzker, corporate and securities partner at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, told the Times, adding that investors are looking more at business fundamentals.

Pinterest makes digital pin boards that allow people to save images and links from around the web. Founder and CEO Ben Silbermann “has taken a conservative approach to spending and growth,” the Times said.

According to its prospectus, the company, which generates revenue from advertising, has added more than 100 million monthly active users since June 2017, with average revenue per user grew from $0.49 in the first quarter of 2017 to about $0.72 last quarter. It lost $63 million in 2018 as revenue increased 60% to $756 million.

“Pinterest looks well positioned to continue capturing the time and attention of a certain niche of users,” The Motley Fool said.