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Pinterest is expected to hold its initial public offering (IPO) this week in what is widely expected to be one of the biggest market debuts of the year.
The technology company begins its IPO roadshow on Monday and is expected to price its share offering below its last private market valuation. Pinterest calls itself "a productivity tool for planning your dreams" but is essentially a web service that lets people save images to virtual pinboards. The company plans to debut on the New York Stock Exchange later this week under the name "PINS" and start trading at between $15 and $17 a share.
In its IPO filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Pinterest said that it had 265 million monthly active users in the fourth quarter of 2018. That compares with 216 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The company hopes to be valued at $11.3 billion including stock options and restricted stock. It plans to sell 86.3 million shares to the public, including the additional shares allotted to the underwriters, at a price between $15 and $17 each.
At the top of that range, the company could raise $1.5 billion. Pinterest's valuation is below the $12 billion that private investors and venture capital firms placed on the company in 2017. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Allen & Company are leading a total of 12 Wall Street firms that are underwriting the IPO.
Pinterest is the rare technology company to go public that is not bleeding cash. Pinterest lost $63 million in 2018, which put it closer to making a profit than in the previous year, when it lost $130 million. While unprofitable, Pinterest's losses are lower than those of other well-known start-ups such as Uber and Lyft that are also going public in 2019.
And Pinterest is growing. The company's revenue, which came almost entirely from advertising, totaled $756 million in 2018, up 60% from 2017. In its IPO filing, Pinterest lists a cash stockpile of $628 million.