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Pinterest IPO: $12 billion valuation for startup that's never made a profit

Pinterest, a money-losing start-up company valued at $12 billion, filed for an initial public offering on Friday as the company seeks to tap investors' appetite for IPOs.

In a regulatory filing to register the IPO, the company disclosed that its revenue is growing rapidly, but added that it has never turned a profit. In 2018, the company's revenue jumped by almost 60 percent to $755.9 million, although it lost about $63 million. The company said it will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker PINS.

Pinterest said it believes revenue will continue to grow, thanks to demand from advertisers who are seeking to reach its users, which it calls "Pinners." The site offers a wide selection of images that Pinners can organize into themed "boards," such as boards about cooking or fashion. 

"More Pinners say that Pinterest helps them find new shopping ideas and inspiration than users on other consumer internet platforms, according to a survey by Comscore that we commissioned," the company said in the regulatory filing. "People actively seek relevant commercial content on our service, and advertisers are increasingly providing it."

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The company said part of its strategy is to expand into new advertising markets, such as appealing to auto companies and financial services firms that want to reach its base of 250 million monthly active users. It's also planning to expand internationally. 

It's been a hot market for initial public offerings so far this year. Jeans maker Levi Strauss & Co. went public on Thursday, with the stock price jumping 30 percent when it started trading. Other companies have either announced plans to go public this year or are expected to file for an IPO, including ride-hail startups Lyft and Uber. 

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