Reddit Aims for $748 Million in Mega IPO: Users and Moderators Get a Piece of the Pie

Reddit IPO

In one of the most anticipated initial public offerings (IPOs) of the year, Reddit Inc., the social media giant, is making moves to raise a whopping $748 million, sources familiar with the matter revealed. At an estimated price of $31 to $34 per share, the IPO is expected to be among the biggest of the year. 22 million shares will be sold.

Unique Opportunity for Users and Moderators

Unlike traditional IPOs, Reddit is taking an innovative approach by setting aside approximately 1.76 million shares specifically for its users and moderators who created accounts before January 1. Notably, these shares will be exempt from the usual lockup period, allowing the fortunate owners to sell them on the very first day of trading.

Valuation Rollercoaster Ride

Reddit’s journey towards its IPO has been a rollercoaster ride, reflecting the dynamic nature of the market. Initially confidential filing in 2021 led to a valuation of $10 billion, with subsequent reports suggesting a potential valuation of up to $15 billion. However, the company is currently eyeing a valuation of $6.5 billion in its listing.

Reddit’s Profile in the IPO Landscape

As one of the high-profile additions to this year’s IPO landscape, Reddit’s move will be closely observed by other companies planning to go public, such as Microsoft-backed Rubrik Inc. and healthcare payments firm Waystar Technologies Inc. The market saw a lukewarm response to IPOs in the previous year, with Reddit’s listing potentially signaling a shift in this trend.

Financial Snapshot and Future Outlook

Founded in 2005, Reddit boasts an average of 73.1 million daily active unique visitors. In the fourth quarter, the company reported a net loss of $91 million on revenue totaling $804 million in 2023. However, this represents a significant improvement from the previous year’s net loss of $159 million on revenue of $667 million.

Reddit’s CEO, Steven Huffman, expressed confidence in the company’s growth potential in a signed letter included in the filing. The platform is exploring new avenues for revenue, including data licensing arrangements that have already amounted to $203 million in contract value.

AI Collaboration and Noteworthy Partnerships

In a forward-looking move, Reddit is exploring opportunities for third parties to license access to its data, primarily for training artificial intelligence models. The company has already inked data licensing agreements worth $203 million, with additional revenue expected this year.

An exciting collaboration with Alphabet Inc.’s Google further underscores Reddit’s commitment to innovation. Google’s AI products will use Reddit data to enhance their technology, showcasing the platform’s valuable trove of human-generated content.

Investor Landscape and Potential Challenges

Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., the Newhouse family’s publishing empire, is Reddit’s largest shareholder. Other significant stakeholders include FMR LLC, Tencent Holdings Ltd., and entities affiliated with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

However, Reddit’s millions of loyal users and moderators pose both a benefit and a challenge. The platform has witnessed user revolts over various issues, and some members of the WallStreetBets forum have expressed reservations about the IPO, citing concerns ranging from profitability to competition.

IPO Logistics and Leadership Insights

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Bank of America Corp. are leading Reddit’s IPO. The company intends to use the ticker symbol RDDT to trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
CEO Steven Huffman, holding 3.5% of the voting power, expressed optimism about the company’s growth prospects. Notably, Huffman has a voting proxy agreement with Advance.

As Reddit inches closer to its IPO, the market eagerly awaits the platform’s debut and its potential impact on the broader IPO landscape.

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