Posted on Tuesday, May 29th 2018
Recent reports suggest image-based searching and sharing site Pinterest saw a 58% jump in its annual revenue. However, it has missed its earlier estimates.
Founded in 2009, San-Francisco-based Pinterest has close to 250 million monthly users who post and search for photos of things they’re planning to buy or do. The company makes its revenues from selling photo and video ads that show up in searches. It also shows ads for items that may align with a user’s style.
Pinterest’s revenue in 2017 was $472.9 million. It missed its revenue target of $500 million in 2017 but its revenues have steadily improved over the years, it had revenue of $298.9 million in 2016, $139 million in 2015, and $24 million in 2014.
The company has reportedly exceeded revenue expectations in the second half but missed estimates in the first half of 2017. It has not disclosed its revenue target for 2018 but is reportedly on track to meet or beat targets for the first half of the year.
Pinterest’s New Offerings
In April, Pinterest rolled out an inclusive search feature. With the feature, the company is hoping to increase engagement with a more diverse set of posts on the site and give exposure to creators who didn’t traditionally get top billing in search but were more relevant for the users.
Last year, Pinterest released a feature called Lens that allows users to use their camera to search for similar looking decor, clothing, and food in the real world. Users can point their camera at an image and Pinterest will show them similar styles and ideas.
Pinterest is not alone in the visual search segment. Snap also released a feature last year that uses image recognition to recognize the faces and then applies filters, emoji, and other special effects to these photographs. Alphabet has an image recognition tool called Lens for smartphone cameras that integrates Google’s computer vision and AI technology to understand what the camera is seeing and offer search results to the user.
Pinterest’s Funding and IPO Plans
Pinterest is venture funded with $1.5 billion in funding from individual investors and funds including Valiant Capital Partners, FirstMark Capital, Fidelity Investments, Bessemer Venture Partners, SV Angel, Andreessen Horowitz, Slow Ventures, Rakuten, Jack Abraham, Max Levchin, Kevin Hartz, Michael Birch, New York Angels, William Lohse, Jeremy Stoppelman, Wellington Management, and Goldman Sachs. Its last round of funding was held in June last year when it raised $150 million in a private listing at an undisclosed valuation. Analysts expect the company to be valued close to $12.3 billion, compared with its $11 billion valuation in 2015.
Pinterest hired former Square and Alphabet executive Francoise Brougher as its first COO in February this year. She will be leading supervising Pinterest’s worldwide operations and leading its sales. This move was seen as part of its preparation for an IPO.
More investigation and analysis of Unicorn companies can be found in my latest Entrepreneur Journeys book, Billion Dollar Unicorns.
This segment is a part in the series : Billion Dollar Unicorns
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