Is Pinterest A Top IPO Candidate For 2016?

Launched in March of 2010, Pinterest is a website and mobile app that gives its users the tools to discover, share, collect, and store items, pages, websites, etc. on boards they create. And the board possibilities, it seems, are endless.

Want to eat and live healthier in the New Year? Make a board filled with tips and recipes for doing just that. Love fashion? Create a board that demonstrates your personal style choices. Wishing for a complete home redecoration? Make a board that compiles all of your design hopes and dreams.

A look at Pinterest. Image: Pinterest

This approach has really caught on with users in the social media sphere, propelling Pinterest to incredible growth. In fact, the company reportedly only took nine months to go from 50,000 unique monthly visitors to 17 million monthly unique visitors, compared to 16 for Facebook Inc (FB - Analyst Report) and 22 for Twitter Inc (TWTR - Analyst Report).

High IPO Potential

Back in 2013, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann, speaking at Fast Company's Innovation Uncensored conference, said Pinterest was not angling to go public, and while he did not rule out the possibility of a future IPO, he emphasized that it was not a priority.

Silbermann elaborated that the company wants to "stand on its own two feet," and he was not sure if going public would help Pinterest retain and grow its user base.

Fast forward to 2015, and Pinterest is one of the most talked about IPO candidates. It’s the last of the popular social media companies to go public or to be swallowed up in a merger. Despite Silbermann’s past comments, the company seems to be following in the footsteps of fellow social media giants Facebook and Twitter.

Currently, its valuation is at a praiseworthy $11 billion after its latest round of funding from new and existing investors in March. With financial backing from venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Bessemer Venture Partners, hedge fund Valiant Capital Partners, and Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten, Pinterest raised $367 million. Combined with Pinterest’s previously raised $764 million, the company has raised over $1 billion in equity funding and is now one of the world’s most highly-valued start-ups, ranking No. 9 on The Wall Street Journal’s list of billion dollar startups.

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