Tech IPOs to balloon as Pinterest pops 25pc on first day’s trading

19 Apr 2019

Pinterest app on smartphone. Image: Itchaz/

Favourable start for Pinterest may encourage more unicorns to go public.

More tech IPOs could be in the offing as scrapbook social network Pinterest is the latest unicorn to go public with a spectacularly successful IPO that saw it raise $1.4bn.

Pinterest priced its shares at $19 and saw trading shoot up by 25pc upon its debut on the New York Stock Exchange, opening at $23.75 a share and valuing the company at a cool $12bn.

Pinterest was founded in 2009 by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp, modelled on the idea of a scrapbook for things that you love and are influenced by.

Putting a pin in it

The social network has always been slightly different to its unicorn cohort – a little more conservative, less controversial and less flashy – but its IPO still popped.

Pinterest’s revenues have been growing steadily by 60pc between 2017 and 2018 and it has reduced losses from $130m in 2016/17 to $64m in 2018.

The company is the latest tech giant to go public after seemingly endless rounds of venture capital, and its performance and experience will be instructive for other unicorns such as Slack, which is planning to go public soon, and Stripe, which is hotly tipped to go public in the year ahead though no plans have yet been revealed.

A rocky IPO for Lyft in recent weeks seemed to be a bad omen but that hasn’t stopped rival Uber revealing plans for a monster $10bn IPO in the near future.

Pinterest’s first-day performance could be viewed as a litmus test for other tech firms about to dip their toe in the public markets.

The platform last year surpassed the 250m-user milestone, announcing at the time that more than 175bn ‘ideas’ had been shared, ranging from recipes to fashion, holidays, cars, art – you name it.

Pinterest app on smartphone. Image: Itchaz/

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years