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Pinterest sets IPO price below recent valuation

Joining the new wave of tech startups seeking to enter the stock market, social media company Pinterest on Monday moved closer to going public by pricing the IPO between $15 per share and $17 per share. As widely expected, the IPO price came in below the last closing price of the company’s shares.

Eying a valuation of nearly $12 billion, the company will be selling approximately 75 million shares, clearing the way for its debut on the New York Stock Exchange next week under the ticker symbol PINS. The low-profile stance with regard to the pricing indicates the management has taken a cue from the dismal performance of ride-sharing company Lyft (LYFT) after last week’s IPO.  Pinterest was valued about $12 billion when it raised the first round of funding a couple of years ago.

In February this year, the company confidentially filed for an IPO, setting the stage for tougher competition in the social media space that is currently ruled by Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR).  More than eight years after its inception, Pinterest is estimated to have generated around $750 million in revenues last year, up 60% from the preceding year. The positive top-line performance over the years could help the company achieve breakeven and turn profitable in a relatively shorter period, after going public.

Pinterest confidentially filed for an IOP in February this year, setting the stage for tougher competition in the social media space

Going forward, Pinterest will be under pressure to disclose the details pertaining to the number of users, an area where the company lacked clarity so far. Its entry to the stock market can be viewed as a prelude to a series of IPOs planned in the remainder of the year including those of Uber and Slack, which have confidentially filed for IPO.

It is speculated that the recent appointment of tech veteran Francoise Brougher as the chief operating officer could help Pinterest go through the IPO process effortlessly.  Also, the public listing is expected to add vigor the company’s ongoing efforts to transform itself from an online scrapbooking platform to an image discovery site with search capabilities matching the likes of Google (GOOG).

Lyft, the latest tech firm that went public, had a rather unimpressive start. The stock retreated quickly from the post-debut surge and remained low during the following sessions.


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