Pinterest has taken a long time to justify its monstrous private market valuation. However the social media company is finally approaching $1 billion in ad revenue as it pushes toward an IPO in mid-2019, according to people familiar with the matter.
After hitting $500 million in sales in 2017, Pinterest is on pace to almost double that this year, said the people, who asked not to be named because the company's financials are private. Pinterest is having particular success with mobile ads, as the site becomes a more popular place for big fashion and beauty brands to get in front of the company's 200 million monthly active users.
In targeting a public market debut in the second quarter of 2019, Pinterest could join a group of high-valued and high-profile consumer start-ups that are aiming to hit the market around the same time. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has said that the ride-hailing company expects to go public next year, and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said at the Code Conference in May that his hospitality company will “be ready to IPO next year, but I don’t know if we will.”
A Pinterest spokesperson declined to comment.
Investors are already getting more bullish on Pinterest. Trades on the secondary market value the company at between $13 billion and $15 billion, said people with knowledge of the matter. That is up from a valuation of $12.3 billion at the time of its last financing round in June 2017.
Pinterest users "pin" items they like so that their friends and followers can view curated lists of subjects such as recipes, clothing items, household goods and places to travel. That all provides valuable and targeted data about consumers' interests and their intent to buy.