Reddit’s planned IPO aims to raise up to $748 million


Reddit Inc. and its investors are seeking to raise as much as $748 million in what would be one of the biggest initial public offerings so far this year, according to people familiar with the matter.

The social media platform and some of its current shareholders plan a sale of 22 million shares for $31 to $34 each, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information wasn’t public yet. The company was seeking a valuation of as much as $6.5 billion in the listing, Bloomberg News has reported.

The people said the company is setting aside about 1.76 million shares in the IPO to be bought by users and moderators who created accounts before Jan. 1. Those shares won’t be subject to a lockup period, meaning the owners can sell them on the opening day of trading, according to Reddit’s filing in February with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

A representative for Reddit declined to comment.

Reddit’s Valuation

Reddit’s more than two-year slog to listing reflects the ups and downs of the market, beginning with its initial confidential filing in 2021, when IPOs on US exchanges set an an all-time record of $339 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Reddit raised funds that year valuing it at $10 billion, and Bloomberg News reported the following year that it could be valued at as much as $15 billion in an IPO.

Meanwhile, IPOs in the US tumbled, reaching only $26 billion last year, the data show. In January, Bloomberg News reported that Reddit was weighing feedback from early meetings with potential IPO investors that it should consider a valuation of at least $5 billion.

The company is a high-profile addition to the year’s roster of newly and soon-to-be public companies. The biggest of those listings was the $1.57 billion offering by Amer Sports Inc. in January. Astera Labs Inc., a software maker focused on artificial intelligence, said in a filing Friday that it would seek up to $534 million in its IPO, which will likely proceed Reddit’s.

Read More: Intel-Backed Astera Seeks $534 Million in IPO With AI Appeal

Reddit’s listing will be watched closely by IPO candidates such as Microsoft Corp.-backed data security start up Rubrik Inc. and health-care payments company Waystar Technologies Inc. Their deliberations come after a quartet of US listings led by semiconductor designer Arm Holdings Plc’s $5.23 billion offering in September failed to ignite a lasting rebound in the market.

Shrinking Losses

Founded in 2005, Reddit averaged 73.1 million daily active unique visitors in the fourth quarter, according to its February filing. The company reported a net loss of $91 million on revenue of $804 million in 2023, compared with a net loss of about $159 million on revenue of $667 million a year earlier.

Reddit’s largest shareholder is Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., part of the Newhouse family publishing empire that owns Conde Nast, which bought Reddit in 2006 and spun it out in 2011.

Reddit said its millions of loyal users and moderators pose risks as well as a benefit for the company. Redditors have a historically combative relationship with the site, launching revolts over everything from racism on the platform to executives’ staffing decisions.

Meme Stocks

Thousands of members of the WallStreetBets forum — which boasts around 15 million users and helped popularize meme stocks like GameStop Corp. — voted to boost a forum post about shorting Reddit’s stock when it begins trading. Their reasons varied from the company’s lack of profitability to competitive concerns.

The IPO is being led by Morgan StanleyGoldman Sachs Group Inc.JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp., according to Reddit’s filing. The company plans for its shares to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RDDT.

Reddit co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Steven Huffman said in a signed letter included in the filing that the company has many opportunities to grow both the platform and the business.

“Advertising is our first business, and advertisers of all sizes have discovered that Reddit is a great place to find high-intent customers that they aren’t able to reach elsewhere,” Huffman said. “Advertising on Reddit is rapidly evolving, and we are still in the early phases of growing this business.”

AI Licensing

Reddit said it’s in the early stages of allowing third parties to license access to data on the platform, including to train artificial intelligence models. The company said that in January it entered into data licensing arrangements with an aggregate contract value of $203 million and terms ranging from two to three years. It expects a minimum of $66.4 million of revenue from those agreements this year, according to the filing.

Reddit also has announced a deal with Alphabet Inc.’s Google, allowing Google’s AI products to use Reddit data to improve their technology. Large language models often need vast troves of human-generated content to improve.

Huffman owns shares giving him 3.5% of the voting power. That includes Class B shares that will have 10 votes each compared with one each for the Class A shares to be sold in the IPO, the filing shows. Huffman also has a voting proxy agreement with Advance.

Other large shareholders include Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Wong, as well as FMR LLC and entities affiliated with OpenAI Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman, Tencent Holdings Ltd., Vy Capital and Quiet Capital and Tacit Capital, according to the filing.

Huffman’s fellow co-founder, venture capitalist Alexis Ohanian, isn’t listed among the investors with stakes of 5% or more and isn’t named elsewhere in the filing.

— With assistance from Priya Anand, Ryan Gould, and Katie Roof

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