Maria Montero

Pinterest puts an IPO on its pinboard, hiring …

Pinterest, The 11-year-old San Francisco-based site, known for the photos its users post about everything from weddings to beauty trends, hired Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase as primary underwriters for an IPO it plans to present later. this year.

Reuters first reported the news. TechCrunch sources have since confirmed the development. A Pinterest spokesperson declined to “comment on rumors and speculation” when asked this afternoon for more information.

Pinterest has raised roughly $ 1.5 billion over the years and its private investors valued it at $ 12 billion during their last round of fundraising in 2017. Notably, its backers include Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, among many other investment firms, both early stage and later stage, such as Valiant Capital Partners, Wellington Management, Andreessen Horowitz and Bessemer Venture Partners.

The company’s revenue last year was $ 700 million, more than double what the company generated in revenue in 2017.

It has 250 million monthly active users, compared to 200 million monthly active users who were on the platform in mid-2017.

If Pinterest has ever been profitable, we couldn’t learn this afternoon. But the company employs 1,600 people in 13 cities around the world, including Chicago, London, Paris, São Paulo, Berlin and Tokyo, and half of its users now live outside the US, with the international market in its segment. fastest growing.

Perhaps not surprisingly, more than 80% of people access the service through its mobile app.

Assessing how Pinterest shares might be received by public market shareholders has become a favorite parlor game for Silicon Valley residents. In a recent report, news outlet The Information posited that Pinterest’s offering could be affected because it is a social media company that frequently teams up with companies like Facebook and Twitter that have raised concerns about user privacy. and they have faced each other for almost a year as a result.

However, Pinterest is a far cry from what most users consider social media and more like a visual search and discovery platform, with people seeking ideas and inspiration rather than reaching out to other people. So thinks venture capitalist Venky Ganesan of Menlo Ventures, who noted on a recent TechCrunch podcast that “there are no Russian trolls” on Pinterest. More, he said, “I have not seen Pinterest sell [users’] data. They are using data to [figure out] advertising on Pinterest; they are not intermediaries [that information] to others.”

Another potential concern for Pinterest is its reliance on advertising, which is often the easiest expense for businesses to cut back when an economy begins to cool down, as can happen here in the US Ads account for 100 percent of sales. business income.

Here too, however, Pinterest might be more durable than some of its competitors. While brand image-based advertising is often cut off when budgets are tight, direct response advertising often performs even better in low markets, as companies seek clearer returns on their investment. And much of Pinterest’s revenue comes from direct response type advertising. Users view, click, and buy. As Ganesan offered during that same trip to TC’s podcast dungeon, “I have three daughters at home, they spend a lot of time on Pinterest and they buy things.” (Ganesan is not an investor in the company; neither is the broader Menlo Ventures team.)

According to previous media reports, Pinterest could be tried to raise up to $ 1.5 billion in one deal. Whether it targets more or less, we will likely learn soon, but an IPO is expected for some time, partly because the company is now being incorporated in the next few years, partly due to its continued growth, and partly due to some new hires that seemed to suggest that the company has been preparing to be publicly traded.

In November, for example, Pinterest brought in its first chief marketing officer at Andréa Mallard, who joined the company of Athleta, Gap’s activewear brand, and who now oversees its global creative and marketing teams.

About a year ago, Pinterest also recruited its first COO, hiring Francoise Brougher, who was previously a leading company at Square and vice president of global sales and operations for SMB at Google prior to that.

In fact, unlike many of today’s most dynamic companies, Pinterest appears to have retained nearly every executive working at the company with one notable exception. In late 2017, she parted ways with her then-president, Tim Kendall, who had been with Pinterest for more than five years at the time, and who left to start his own health and wellness company.