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Reddit files confidential plans for IPO

The 16-year-old social networking site played a key role on the "meme stocks" frenzy earlier this year.

Angela Lang/CNET

Social network platform Reddit said Wednesday it had confidentially filed a draft registration for a proposed initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Reddit frequently ranks among the internet's most trafficked destinations and played a significant role in the "meme stocks" frenzy. Information shared earlier this year by investors on the network led to a sudden surge in the value of shares of GameStop, AMC and other companies.

Reddit didn't reveal how many shares would be offered or what valuation it seeks with the IPO, but the 16-year-old company announced in August it had raised an additional $410 million in funding, giving it a valuation of more than $10 billion.

For years since its founding in 2005, the site was a free-wheeling, nearly anything-goes collection of internet forums with people discussing their struggles with cancer, swapping theories about Star Wars and debating politics.

Billing itself as "the front page of the internet," Reddit has also struggled for years against bad behavior among some of its users. In recent years, it's introduced policies to clamp down on hate groups, prostitution and other illegal activity.

Its approach to an IPO allows Reddit to go through several rounds of back and forth with the SEC over the wording of its filing in secret, meaning it can present a much cleaner registration when it formally files to go public. The process also allows Reddit to keep a lid on sensitive company information, such as data about its customers, revenue and users.

Reddit didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.