Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 18 September 2019

Pinterest pursues $1.28 billion in IPO falling short of 2017 value

Social media platform is offering 75 million shares for $15 to $17 apiece

Pinterest says 265 million people use the digital scrapbook at least once a month. Bloomberg 
Pinterest says 265 million people use the digital scrapbook at least once a month. Bloomberg 

Pinterest is seeking to raise as much as $1.28 billion (Dh4.7bn) in a US initial public offering that could value the company below the amount it reached in its last private valuation.

The maker of online inspiration boards is offering 75 million shares for $15 to $17 apiece, according to a filing Monday. Based on the total number of Class A and Class B shares outstanding after the offering, if it priced at the top of the range, that would give Pinterest a market valuation of about $9 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Its fully diluted value could be higher.

In its last private funding round in 2017, the company raised $150 million for a total valuation of about $12.3bn. Pinterest will start its IPO roadshow in New York Monday and travel to cities including Boston, San Francisco and Chicago to market the shares, according to a term sheet reviewed by Bloomberg. It aims to price the stock after the market closes on April 17.

San Francisco-based Pinterest accelerated its offering to capitalise on the hot US market for IPOs, which expects to see a flurry of US tech companies go public this year. In March, No 2 US ride-hailing giant Lyft priced its shares at $72 in the largest offering from a tech upstart since Snap went public two years ago. Lyft was the biggest US listing after the partial government shutdown dampened first quarter listings’ momentum. After dipping below the IPO price, Lyft is now trading around $75.

Pinterest earlier revealed about $756m in revenue from online advertisements in 2018, a 60 per cent growth rate that accelerated from the year prior. Its net loss shrunk to $63 million in 2018 from $130 million in 2017. Pinterest says 265 million people use the digital scrapbook at least once a month.

The company’s pricing decision was influenced by Lyft’s IPO, as well as slowing US growth, said Michael Lin, a consultant at IPO adviser MorganFranklin. The syndicate wants to be more conservative to avoid a situation like Lyft’s, he said.

“This pricing is reasonable,” Mr Lin said. “Investors are going to be a little more selective going forward. Especially with how many IPOs are going out and in the queue.”

The share sale will be led by banks including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Allen & Co. Pinterest applied to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker PINS.

Updated: April 9, 2019 10:18 AM

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