Could Pinterest be the next social media IPO?

The site hasn't given any indication that it's preparing an offering, but some of the signs are there.

By Benzinga Oct 24, 2013 1:45PM

© Pinterest/APBy Tim Parker

If Twitter’s (TWTR) S-1 is any indication, it should hit Wall Street sometime in the middle of the next month. The stated valuation may be around $12.8 billion but it’s expected rocket up to about $20 billion once it reaches the market.

Just like Facebook (FB), the hype-machine will be full-on but eyes will quickly turn to the next big IPO event.

Pinterest hasn’t given any indication that it’s in process of preparing an IPO or even thinking about it but judging by the size of the platform, it has the makings of the next company to put on IPO watch.

First, there’s no absence of funding. AllThingsD reported that it picked up another $225 million in late-stage funding from a group led by Fidelity. This adds to the $200 million it received in February valuing the company at around $3.8 billion. That’s well below Twitter’s valuation but Pinterest has some impressive stats that would indicate that the valuation has a lot of room to the upside.

According to a report by Semiocast, Pinterest has more than 70 million registered users with 79 percent located in the United States. As of March, it had 50 million unique users per month worldwide, and 55 percent of its new users come from the United States.

Pinterest has an impressive 35 percent activity rate—the percentage of those 70 million registered users that “pin” regularly. That’s a higher rate than other social networks including Twitter. Over half of the registered users connected to the site in the four months ending June 2013.

According to Shareaholic, Facebook and Pinterest receive the most referral traffic online. According to the report, “Facebook grew 58.81%, Pinterest by 66.52% and Twitter 54.12%.”

But what has investors interested is Pinterest’s increasing international focus. The company recently hired employees in France and England—its first outside of the U.S. but it has a growing presence in Italy and has indicated interest in Japan.

Like all early stage social media companies, Pinterest has yet to monetize. The company secured a deal that will allow it to come preinstalled on some Android phones in Latin America and Europe but it won’t bring any direct revenue to Pinterest.

Pinterest is probably a little young to consider an IPO but with its notoriety, growth rate, and increasing valuation, it’s the next social media company in line to consider.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker had no position in the above mentioned companies.

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