Pinterest CEO: Going public is not the goal

CEO Ben Silbermann says the company is not trying to file an initial public offering next year.


SAN FRANCISCO -- Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann didn't reveal many details about his company's future at a scheduled talk Wednesday, but he did express one thing: Pinterest is not angling to go public.

When asked if the company wanted to go public next year, Silbermann didn't rule it out completely, but said it wasn't the priority.

"That's actually not the goal," he told a crowd while onstage here at Fast Company's Innovation Uncensored conference. Silbermann added that the company wants to "stand on its own two feet," and he didn't know if going public would help it retain and grow its user base.

"There are amazing public companies," he continued. "I've never been in that transition, but we are a long way from that. We want to keep our company laser-focused on 'are people using this service?' If they aren't, then why not?"

The comment comes at a time when Silicon Valley is awaiting thehighly anticipated initial public offering of another San Francisco-based social network, Twitter.

It's not too surprising that Silbermann is shy about going public, given that the company has yet to prove if it can make money. While popular, Pinterest doesn't have a clear revenue stream yet. But the company is experimenting with promoted pins, a form of advertisements.

Silbermann didn't share much else during the talk on Pinterest's progress. When asked whether or not the service could become a communication tool for users, he said he recognized a need for communication that wasn't subject to public scrutiny. Currently, Pinterest only allows for public comments on pins. This may hint at a direct-messaging feature down the line.

He also touched on supporting 10 new markets by the end of the year, saying that in some countries there's a debate about how the word "pin" should be translated, but gave little other details.

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