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Pinterest seeks up to US$1.28b in IPO, below 2017 value

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Pinterest Inc is seeking to raise as much as US$1.28 billion in a US initial public offering (IPO) that could value the company below the amount it reached in its last private valuation.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Pinterest Inc is seeking to raise as much as US$1.28 billion in a US initial public offering (IPO) that could value the company below the amount it reached in its last private valuation.

The maker of online inspiration boards is offering 75 million shares for US$15 to US$17 apiece, according to a filing on Monday. Based on the total number of Class A and Class B shares outstanding after the offering, if it priced at the top of the range, that would give Pinterest a market valuation of about US$9 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Its fully diluted value could be higher.

In its last private funding round in 2017, the company raised US$150 million for a total valuation of about US$12.3 billion. Pinterest will start its IPO roadshow in New York Monday and travel to cities including Boston, San Francisco and Chicago to market the shares, according to a term sheet reviewed by Bloomberg. It aims to price the stock after the market closes on April 17.

San Francisco-based Pinterest accelerated its offering to capitalise on the hot US market for IPOs, which expects to see a flurry of US tech companies go public this year. In March, No 2 US ride-hailing giant Lyft Inc priced its shares at US$72 in the largest offering from a tech upstart since Snap Inc went public two years ago. Lyft was the biggest US listing after the partial government shutdown dampened first quarter listings' momentum. After dipping below the IPO price, Lyft is now trading around US$75.

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Pinterest earlier revealed about US$756 million in revenue from online advertisements in 2018, a 60 per cent growth rate that accelerated from the year prior. Its net loss shrunk to US$63 million in 2018 from US$130 million in 2017. Pinterest says 265 million people use the digital scrapbook at least once a month.

The company's pricing decision was influenced by Lyft's IPO, as well as slowing US growth, said Michael Lin, a consultant at IPO adviser MorganFranklin. The syndicate wants to be more conservative to avoid a situation like Lyft's, he said.

"This pricing is reasonable," Mr Lin said. "Investors are going to be a little more selective going forward. Especially with how many IPOs are going out and in the queue."

The share sale will be led by banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Allen & Co. Pinterest applied to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker PINS.

BLOOMBERG