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Pinterest Shares Up Close to 29% on IPO Day

Shares of the social pinning service Pinterest closed at $24.45 — 28.6% above their IPO price — on the company’s first day at the New York Stock Exchange Thursday as investors were looking to get in on the latest tech listing.

Pinterest’s shares opened at $23.75, 25% above the IPO pricing of $19 per share, with the stock trading under the PINS symbol. The public offering helped the company raise around $1.4 billion. Thursday’s closing share price values Pinterest close to $12.9 billion.

Pinterest revealed in regulatory filings that it has 250 million monthly active users, which puts it behind Twitter (321 million monthly users) and Instagram (1 billion monthly users). The company generated revenue of $756 million in 2018, and incurred net losses of $63 million.

The company used much of its IPO filings to differentiate itself from existing social networks, writing: “Pinterest is unique. Most consumer internet companies are either tools (search, ecommerce) or media (newsfeeds, video, social networks). Pinterest is not a pure media channel, nor is it a pure utility.”

“It’s a media-rich utility that satisfies both emotional and functional needs by solving a widespread consumer problem that is unaddressed by many other platforms,” the filing continued. “We call it discovery.”

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Despite that insistence that its focus on visual discovery sets it apart from other social platforms, it’s clear that Pinterest actually has a lot in common with social media companies like Facebook. This includes a focus on advertising as its primary source of revenue, as well as a desire to grow video on its platform to scale that advertising revenue.

The IPO prospectus filing includes multiple mentions of plans to “develop and increase the use of certain products, such as video.” The document also lays out risk factors specific to a video expansion, including a lack of net neutrality protections and other issues that could impede mobile video growth.

Update: 1:05pm PT: This post was updated with Pinterest’s share price at the close or markets.

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