Pinterest IPO may come in late June with $12 billion valuation

Pinterest has confidentially filed paperwork for its initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The online sharing platform is one of many technology startups anticipated to go public this year.

Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, both of which Pinterest hired in January to underwrite the deal, are planning for a late June offering, according to the WSJ, which cited “people familiar with the matter.”

Pinterest has raised about $1.5 billion in total funding as of its most recent round of fundraising in June, according to CB Insights. It’s expected to seek a valuation of at least $12 billion.

The company declined to comment. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

Pinterest is among several tech outfits expected to go public in 2019. Investors are also looking toward IPOs from Lyft, Uber and Slack in the coming months.

Wait and see for investors

As the first major social media company to go public since Snap in 2017, however, investors will have to wait and see how well Pinterest will perform and handle itself as a public company, according to a note from Andrew Lipsman, principal analyst at eMarketer. The company generates revenue through advertisements on its website.

In terms of users, Pinterest captures nearly 40 percent of U.S. social network users and surpassed 250 million monthly active users last September. 

While Pinterest has a strong visual platform to engage users, the company is battling for market share in an advertising sector dominated by public tech giants Google, Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Snapchat and Twitter. Pinterest is expected to have less than 1 percent of the total U.S. digital advertising market over the next two years, according to eMarketer.

“Ultimately, it will have to prove that its ads are effective in building brands and driving commerce,” Lipsman wrote.

Meanwhile, investors in social media competitors seemed unconcerned about Pinterest joining the market. Shares of Twitter and Snap stayed flat in after-hours trading Thursday.

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