San Francisco-based online scrapbook Pinterest files for IPO with $12.3 billion valuation

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's raining money at Pinterest as the online scrapbook filed for its initial public offering of stock on Friday. With a $12.3 billion valuation, many of the company's employees came to work this morning as regular hard-working people and are leaving as millionaires.

Pinterest began in Dec. 2009 and was launched in 2010. Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann ran the company out of a tiny house along with a group of programmers and his co-founders in the early days. Almost 10 years later, Pinterest posted revenue of over $700 million at the end of 2018.

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The scrapbook type website, has over 200 million monthly active users.

Just hours before Pinterest IPO's paperwork emerged, another tech unicorn ZOOM filed as well.

"The market in the U.S economy for the first semester is on safe ground. What's going to happen on the second semester we don't know? Therefore, there is a rush to capture the market while the market is fairly high. So, there is this avalanche of companies trying to get their IPO's during the first few months of the year," said Hult Business School professor Carlos Baradello.

Pinterest employees who have stocks in the startup won't be able to cash out until months from now.

"The impact for the young entrepreneurs is not instant. Most of them cannot sell during the so called "lock up" period which is typically 6 months," said Baradello.

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Others startups that are expected to IPO in the upcoming months are Airbnb, Uber and Lyft with a total market capitalization of around $200 billion.

Pinterest said in it plans to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange using the ticker symbol "PINS." The company has not said how many of its shares it's selling in the IPO or how much money it is hoping to generate.

Pinterest has doubled its monthly active user count since early 2016, hitting 265 million user late last year. The startup's CEO, summarizes Pinterest as a "catalog of ideas" that inspires users to "go out and do that thing".
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