Pinterest joins US IPO wave with fast revenue growth

Image search site Pinterest Inc. revealed steady revenue gains with narrowing losses as well as a big bet on overseas expansion, as it joined a surge of technology-related companies planning to go public in the U.S.

Pinterest in its filing for an initial public offering Friday reported strong user growth internationally and even a profit in the fourth quarter. It plans to list its shares as soon as April, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The San Francisco-based company filed with an initial offering size of $100 million, a placeholder amount used to calculate fees that’s likely to change. While the proposed terms of the share sale won’t be disclosed until a later filing, Pinterest could raise about $1.5 billion in an IPO valuing it at at $12 billion or more, people familiar with the matter have said.

The share sale will be led by banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Allen & Co., according to the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Pinterest applied to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker PINS.

Pinterest will have a dual-class structure, with its Class B shares carrying the voting rights of 20 ordinary shares. The company’s co-founders and executives will retain significant voting power after the offering, according to the filing.

The company raised $150 million in a private funding round in 2017 for a total valuation of about $12.3 billion. Pinterest confidentially shared its IPO plans with the SEC earlier this year.

‘Significant Growth’

Pinterest has experienced “significant growth” in users and monetization over the last several years, it said in the filing. It also said it has grown quickly in international markets by localizing content.

The company said it lost $63 million on revenue of $756 million in 2018, compared with a loss of $130 million on $473 million in 2017. Those numbers were improvements over 2016, when it lost $182 million on revenue of $299 million.

In the fourth quarter, the company generated a profit of $47 million on revenue of $273 million. It also generated a profit — $3.4 million — during the same quarter of 2017.

Pinterest said it reaches more than 250 million monthly active users, two thirds of whom are female. That includes 43 percent of internet users in the U.S., it said, citing an independent study by Comscore.

“This includes eight out of 10 moms, who are often the primary decision-makers when it comes to buying products and services for their household, as well as more than half of all U.S. millennials,” it said in the filing. “We expect to continue to grow our user base over time, especially in international markets.”

‘De-Indexed’

The company disclosed that in the first quarter of 2018, Google “de-indexed” its keyword landing pages. That hurt online traffic and user growth in the following quarters, according to the filing.

Founded in 2010, Pinterest is among the longest-lived of Silicon Valley’s unicorns — startups with a valuation of more than $1 billion — that are lining up to go public this year or soon after.

Lyft Inc.’s IPO, in which it is seeking to raise $2.1 billion, is set for March 28. Its larger ride-sharing rival, Uber Technologies Inc., is expected to submit its public filing in April for an IPO on the NYSE that could value it at as much as $120 billion, people familiar with the matter have said.

Other tech and app-driven companies that are considering listing this year include food delivery company Postmates Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc.

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Pinterest joins US IPO wave with fast revenue growth