Pinterest Files IPO


Amid a year when well-valued tech companies plan to list their shares, Pinterest has reportedly made a confidential filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering (IPO). The social media company is said to be looking for a $12 billion minimum valuation, The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to unnamed sources cited in the report, the company  along with underwriters  is looking at a listing in June. However, they issued a caveat that the timing isn’t set in stone, as is typically the case with IPOs and uncertain markets. The company’s underwriters are headed up by JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.

Pinterest Chief Executive Ben Silbermann reportedly said the company was seeking a debut this year. In December, Pinterest had been mulling an IPO for April, and said it could choose its underwriters for the IPO as soon as January.

Last year, it was reported that Pinterest had 250 million active users on a monthly basis. At the same time, it was said that half of millennials in the U.S. use Pinterest as frequently as they use Instagram. While the average age of an active pinner is in the 30s, the average age of a Pinterest platform user is a little over 40. Users of the site are mainly women (81 percent), along with 60 percent of the site’s new users.

In addition, 80 percent of Pinterest users have said they use the mobile app to access the platform. Roughly half of the users on the site make over $50,000 a year, while approximately 40 percent make more than $100,000 a year. (About 10 percent of the site’s users make over $125,000 per year.) Seventy-two percent of the users said they use the platform to find out what they should buy offline.

Pinterest has also leveled up its eCommerce offerings for users, to make it as much of a shopping destination as it is a place to browse and potentially be inspired. Two weeks ago, the platform announced it had fully automated its Shop the Look feature, which enables users to buy products from the company’s partners.

Shop the Look has been available since 2017. The feature uses AI to recognize items in pinned photos and then connects users to similar items in stock with vendors. The original version had a “human in the loop” component that worked to match the pins with products; the company has now launched a fully automated experience for home decor scenes on iOS, with Android coming soon.

“This update increases our Shop The Look pin coverage by 22.5x across billions of pins and products, and in early testing has already lifted engagement by 7 percent,” wrote Kunlong Gu, engineer in the discovery division at Pinterest. “This update brings more computer vision-powered results across Pinterest, showing visually similar ideas to more people. With more Shop the Look pins in the system, pinners can expect to see a much more consistent user experience across all home decor scenes. In terms of internal operation, the artificial intelligence automation frees people from doing repetitive work so they can spend more time being creative.”