Pinterest IPO in 2017 Is a Possibility

Pinterest IPO Could Be in the CardsPinterest IPO Could Be in the Cards

If 2017 is going to be a major year for big-tech initial public offerings (IPOs), then it’s going to need more moves from companies like Pinterest, Inc.

With the Snap Inc. IPO leading the way, many investors are hoping that Snap (which runs “Snapchat”) is the first domino to fall, and are hoping that many other leading private tech companies will take their business to the open market. That hope includes the potentially juicy Pinterest IPO.

The thing about IPOs in 2017 is that they are so uncertain at this point.

The Pinterest IPO valuation sits at about $11.0 billion after raising $1.3 billion in funding. The company boasts 150 million worldwide users, up from 100 million in September 2015. These two factors alone contribute to what many consider one of the strongest potential new tech stocks to have an IPO. (Source: “Pinterest CEO Affirms $300 Million in Revenue in 2016,” The Wall Street Journal, October 26, 2016.)

But the issue is that, like several other companies in similar positions, these businesses seem in no hurry to go public.

Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann said that the company is “focused on growing that basic business,” at the WSJDLive 2016 global technology conference. “The business is scaling quickly.” (Source: Ibid.)

But, at the same time, Silbermann did not totally discount the idea of a Pinterest IPO in 2017, and looking at the financial records and user base of the company, it’s not unfathomable to see the company hit the open market this year.

Pinterest Revenue 2016 Figures Were Good

The social media company, which is based on a sharing board of images, is particularly popular among women, with two-thirds of users being female. Silbermann has said that the company is trying to pursue more male users, with increasing success. He said that 40% of new subscriber accounts are created by men.

And these accounts are fueling revenue growth. Silbermann affirmed reports that Pinterest revenue for 2016 reached $300.0 million, which is triple 2015’s total. Much of that revenue was generated via advertisements run on its web site and mobile app.

This all bodes well for a near-term potential IPO.

In a more recent interview in January, Silbermann once again declined to give an indication one way or the other concerning a Pinterest IPO. “We’re just right now focused on building the business,” he said. (Source: “Pinterest’s Ben Silbermann Looks Ahead,” The Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2017.)

But there are signs that the company is angling toward a Pinterest IPO in 2017. The social media app initiated a design overhaul last spring, hired a chief financial officer last fall, and has recently put more of an emphasis on revenue generation, all of which could be the foundations for an IPO filing. The $11.0-billion Pinterest valuation also puts it among some of the top private tech companies in the world.

Not to mention that the company has been in development of some potentially game-changing tech.

For instance, one of its newest features, called “Lens,” allows users to pair images on the site with objects they encounter in everyday life. For instance, you can take a photo of an outfit you like and then, through the Lens search tool, the company’s algorithm will take over and pair your image with similar ones across Pinterest. (Source: “Pinterest introduces real-world object search tool,” The Drum, February 9, 2017.)