By CCN: Pinterest priced its IPO at $19 a share, as reported by CNBC, exceeding the once lowered $15-$17 range provided by the online pinboard company. Pinterest could have gone bigger, as investor demand for the shares has already sent the new stock soaring in the market debut. Pinterest, which now trades under the ticker PINS on the NYSE, started trading at $23.75, a whopping 25% higher than where it was priced.
Pinterest was satisfied pursuing a $10 billion valuation, lower than the $12 billion figure it was valued at back in 2017. Now the company is valued at more than $12 billion, which bodes well for other tech IPOs in the pipeline, such as ride-sharing giant Uber.
Pinterest is offering 75 million shares, while its underwriters have access to another 11.25 million shares. The offering will come to a close on April 23.
Why Pinterest IPO Could Avoid Lyft-Like Backlash
Pinterest was valued at $12 billion by private investors and venture capitalists a couple of years ago, with shares being priced at $21.54 in the private market. But it looks like the problems at ride-sharing play Lyft have found a way to impact Pinterest as well.
Lyft’s dual-class share structure was a bone of contention for shareholders. Activist investor Carl Icahn decided to pull out of Lyft, as he knew that a dual-class holding structure would give ordinary shareholders less control over the way the company is run.
Lyft eventually faced investor backlash as shares plunged after the IPO. But as Pinterest’s valuation errs on the side of caution, it might be able to avoid Lyft’s fate even if the founders believe they are the only ones who can guide the company forever.
There are other reports that suggest Pinterest’s fully-diluted market capitalization stands at $12.6 billion at the $19 share price. But that shouldn’t pose much of a problem considering the visual search platform hasn’t gotten greedy like Lyft.
Lyft set its offering range much higher than its private valuation and had to pay the price accordingly. Pinterest seems to have avoided a similar fate.
Pinterest’s Slow and Steady Approach Could Pay off
Pinterest’s philosophy of taking things easy has paid off for the company. CEO Ben Silbermann has not rushed things like other tech companies and abstained from buying his way out of trouble.
Ex-employees believe that the lack of agility and a slow decision-making approach have hurt Pinterest’s growth. But a closer look at the company’s top and bottom lines for last year indicate otherwise.
Pinterest’s 2018 revenue of nearly $756 million was a massive improvement over 2017’s figure of $473 million, representing annual growth of almost 60%. More importantly, the company managed to slash its losses to $63 million last year as compared to $130 million in the prior-year period.
Pinterest ended 2018 with 265 million monthly active users (MAU) of whom nearly 70% were based outside the U.S. What’s more, the company’s international MAU shot up by one-third last year.
Pinterest has admitted that it is still early days as far as monetizing its service is concerned. The company is reportedly looking at e-commerce to make money. If it finds success in that endeavor, it should be able to turn in a profit sooner than later because it is not bleeding money like Lyft or its ride-sharing rival Uber.