Tech startups Pinterest, Zoom soar in Wall Street debut

A guest hold up a phone during the Pinterest Inc. IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US, Thursday. — Reuters

NEW YORK — Pinterest got off to a flying start on Wall Street Thursday in the market debut for the San Francisco-based visual discovery service, a positive sign for the wave of Silicon Valley firms planning stock listings.

Pinterest shares leapt 28 percent in early afternoon trade at $24.16 after its initial public offering (IPO) which raised some $1.4 billion.

The jump was a positive sign for other venture-backed Silicon Valley firms after a stumble for ride-hailing firm Lyft, which has lost some 20 percent since its market debut last month.

Separately, the videoconferencing startup Zoom surged 75 percent in its market debut after an IPO which raised more than $350 million.

Zoom's market value at the opening was estimated at some $16.6 billion and Pinterest's at $12.5 billion.

The market action comes amid an expect wave of "unicorns," or startups valued at over $1 billion, hitting the public markets.

The biggest of the group, Uber, is expected to make its debut next month with a valuation of close to $100 billion.

Some analysts have expressed skepticism on the ability of Uber and Lyft to reach profitability anytime soon, raising concerns about their valuation. — AFP