Reddit gets ready to go public with an IPO

16 Dec 2021

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Most recently valued at $10bn, Reddit has seen significant growth since its users took on hedge funds in the GameStop incident earlier this year.

Reddit has taken the first step towards becoming a public company by submitting IPO paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

It is a long-anticipated move and follows recent reports that the company was searching for financial and legal partners for a potential New York IPO in early 2022.

While little is known of the number of shares or the price range for the proposed IPO, Reddit was most recently valued at $10bn after a $700m Series F investment led by Fidelity announced in August.

Known as the ‘front page of the internet’, Reddit has been a private company for 16 years, offering a social platform where users can share messages with photos and videos on topic-based message boards. It was founded in 2005 by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, and is headquartered in San Francisco.

The company has been backed by big VC players such as Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.

It has been a strong year for investments in Reddit, which doubled its valuation in February in a $250m funding round and raised another $116m from new and existing investors later that month.

The platform was also put into the spotlight at the beginning of the year for its role in pushing up GameStop stock in a coordinated effort by users.

The IPO is expected to occur after the SEC completes its review of Reddit’s application, subject to market and other conditions. “We are in a quiet period, and for regulatory reasons, we cannot say anything further,” the company said in a statement.

At the end of 2020, Reddit had more than 50m daily active users accessing more than 100,000 active communities on the platform.

In April, it launched its own live audio feature, Reddit Talk, to take on Clubhouse and join the growing trend of social media companies rolling out audio features. At the end of last year, Reddit also acquired Dubsmash, a short-form video social platform and competitor of TikTok, in a bid to expand in the fast growing video app market.

According to the Financial Times, Redditors have been grieving the company’s decision to sunset its annual Secret Santa exchange platform Reddit Gifts, which allowed users to anonymously exchange gifts globally.

Reddit said that the exchange, which sees celebrities such as Bill Gates and Snoop Dogg participate, will be discontinued after 2021 to focus on “user experience”, in a move that has inspired many posts of disapproval on the platform.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic