Welcome to the market, RDDT! Reddit stock jumps on first day as a public company | CNN Business (2024)

Welcome to the market, RDDT! Reddit stock jumps on first day as a public company | CNN Business (1)

Some on Wall Street believe Reddit has room to grow, after increasing its user base by some 40% between 2021 and 2023.

New York CNN

Reddit, one of the original social media companies,is finally making its debuton the New York Stock Exchange Thursday — more than a decade after many of its peers.

Trading under the ticker “RDDT,” shares started trading at $47 and reached a high of $57.80 early Thursday afternoon, up as much as 70% from its initial price offering of $34. At its peak, shares of the stock had a market cap of about $10.9 billion.

It’s a major milestone for the nearly 20-year-old company, something Reddit has been preparing for since at least 2021, when it hired its first chief financial officer. It also marks the first social media company to go public in years, and its performance could be a signpost for other companies considering IPOs.

Funds raised from a successful IPO could help Reddit invest in key areas for growth, including building out new revenue streams as it seeks to stake a claim as a data provider for the burgeoning artificial intelligence language model industry. A successful public offering could also establish a sustainable ownership structure for a company with ahistoryofownership changesandleadership controversies.

But its success is far from guaranteed. Reddit has never turned a profit, and by its own admission, “we may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability in the future.” The company is alsogiving loyal users a chanceto buy IPO shares, a move that’s “great for PR but practically risky,” according to Kamran Ansari, Venture Partner at investment firm Headline, because those userscould cause volatility in the share price right out of the gate if they quickly sell the stock.

It’s been a rough few years for the IPO market — and successful IPOs typically beget other successful listings. While 2021 was a record-breaking year for companies looking to make their public debuts on the US stock market, dealmaking on Wall Street has largely dried up since, as executives have contended with recession fears, elevated interest rates and geopolitical tensions.

While IPO activity is now trending higher — there have been 23 IPOs priced so far this year, a 15% change over last year — companies that have gone public have underperformed the S&P 500 by about two percentage points, according to data from the Renaissance IPO Index.

Welcome to the market, RDDT! Reddit stock jumps on first day as a public company | CNN Business (2)

Snoo, mascot of Reddit Inc., rings the opening bell during the company's initial public offering (IPO) on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, March 21, 2024. Reddit Inc. and its selling shareholders raised $748 million, pricing shares in an initial public offering at the top of a marketed range, the second big tech listing in as many days.

Redditpriced its sharesat $34 each, valuing the company at around $6 billion, less than the $10 billion valuation the company targeted on the private market in 2021 — which may be a reminder that in the age ofcontinued high interest rates, money now comes at a higher cost.

Mixed predictions

“Reddit’s IPO marks the return of the junk IPO,” David Trainer, CEO of New Constructs, said in an email.“We think the company may never monetize its platform without angering its users and the entire premise of Reddit is user-generated content.”

Still, there may be no time like the present for Reddit to go public. The social media industry isbracing for a potential shakeup if a bill that could see TikTok banned in the United States — which has already passed the House — progresses further.

Some on Wall Street also believe Reddit has more room to grow, after increasing its user base by some 40% between 2021 and 2023.

“There’s really substantial growth potential when it comes to certain places outside the US, particularly ones where English is a primary language. India has been highlighted, for example, as a very substantial opportunity,” said Scott Kessler, global technology sector lead at research firm Third Bridge. He added that Reddit is available in fewer than 10 languages, meaning the company could also find new growth by making the platform accessible to more users around the world.

“The big challenge, of course, is not just user growth, but the related monetization,” Kessler said.

Among Reddit’s plans to better monetize those users is licensing their data to help train AI models. The company recently announced an AI licensing deal with Google that’ssaid to be worth$60 million per year.

And while the so-called “front page of the internet” certainly seems to have potential as a data source, some users appear frustrated with the idea of their content being sold off to train AI tools. And regulators have questions, too.

Reddit disclosed last week that the US Federal Trade Commission is looking into its plans to license data to AI firms, although the company said it does not believe it has violated US consumer protection law.

CNN’s Nicole Goodkind contributed to this report.

Welcome to the market, RDDT! Reddit stock jumps on first day as a public company | CNN Business (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Horacio Brakus JD

Last Updated:

Views: 6267

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Horacio Brakus JD

Birthday: 1999-08-21

Address: Apt. 524 43384 Minnie Prairie, South Edda, MA 62804

Phone: +5931039998219

Job: Sales Strategist

Hobby: Sculling, Kitesurfing, Orienteering, Painting, Computer programming, Creative writing, Scuba diving

Introduction: My name is Horacio Brakus JD, I am a lively, splendid, jolly, vivacious, vast, cheerful, agreeable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.