Examining Reddit’s AI Revenue Increases Confidence in Planned IPO Share Price

At the low end of this range, $31 billion, though Reddit would be worth $4.93 billion based on an expected 158.98 million shares outstanding. With $804.0 million in 2023 revenue, Reddit is on track to trade for a multiple of 6.9x to 8.0x its revenue, depending on the valuation estimate you want to use. Reddit’s game plan for AI is one good reason why it’s pricing its shares closer to Meta than Snap. Reddit data constantly grows and regenerates as users come and interact with their communities and each other. Investors might consider Reddit a side-bet on AI itself, even if the company’s core business isn’t creating AI models.

Reddit is preparing to go public with its IPO plans, as evident in the recently released S-1 filing on Monday. The initial price range of its stock has been set at $31 to $34 per share.

If investors are willing to pay on the higher end, the company’s valuation could reach $5.4 billion. However, even at the lower end of the range, $31 billion, Reddit would still hold a value of $4.93 billion. Some estimates suggest a valuation of over $6 billion, taking into account employee and other options.

Regardless, it is widely believed that Reddit’s public offering will exceed the $5 billion mark, a significant milestone for the company. This can be seen through the activity of its secondary market trading prior to the IPO filing.

With projected revenue of $804.0 million in 2023, Reddit’s trading multiple stands at around 6.9x to 8.0x, depending on the valuation estimate used. This multiple could potentially increase if investors show interest in the higher end of the $34-per-share range during its roadshow.

However, given that Reddit is a long-established social media company that relies heavily on advertising and is not yet profitable, this valuation may seem steep compared to other companies in the market. For example, the unprofitable Snap is currently valued at 4.34x its revenues, while the highly-profitable Meta is valued at 9.86x its own trailing revenues, according to Yahoo Finance.

One good reason why Reddit is pricing its shares closer to Meta than Snap is its game plan for AI. Earlier this year, the company sold $203 million worth of contracts to AI companies for access to its valuable data. This included arrangements with a contract value of $203.0 million and terms ranging from two to three years.

We are also in the early stages of monetizing our emerging opportunity in data licensing by allowing third parties to access, search, and analyze data on our platform. In January of 2024, we entered into certain data licensing arrangements with an aggregate contract value of $203.0 million and terms ranging from two to three years. We expect a minimum of $66.4 million of revenue to be recognized during the year ending December 31, 2024 and the remaining thereafter. Reddit data constantly grows and regenerates as users come and interact with their communities and each other. We believe our growing platform data will be a key element in the training of leading large language models (“LLMs”) and serve as an additional monetization channel for Reddit.

Although the identity of the buyer in this contract was not revealed, it is worth noting that OpenAI CEO Sam Altman holds an 8.7% stake in Reddit, making him the third-largest shareholder. He was also once a member of the company’s board of directors.

With its extensive history, vast user base, and active community creating written content, Reddit is a goldmine of training data for large language model AI companies. And the company has proven its ability to generate revenue from these AI companies by granting them access to its data.

While some Reddit users have voiced concerns about AI and the company’s involvement with it, these concerns may not outweigh the potential profit from utilizing its valuable data. In fact, investors may see Reddit as a valuable investment in the flourishing AI industry, even though it is not the company’s primary focus. And with new data constantly being generated by the hour, Reddit’s future growth potential is promising. As the saying goes, “If you want to get rich during a gold rush, be the one selling picks and shovels.”

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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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