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Business

Reddit files to go public as 'RDDT' on NYSE

Glenn Chapman - Agence France-Presse
Reddit files to go public as 'RDDT' on NYSE
In this photo illustration, the Reddit logo is displayed on a cell phone and computer monitor on February 13, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo Illustration by Mario Tama / Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO, United States — Reddit on Thursday told US stock regulators that it plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "RDDT".

Reddit did not provide details regarding the number or price of shares nor when the initial public offering would occur.

Co-founder and chief executive Bill Huffman said in a letter included with the filing that money raised by the share offering would be used to make Reddit a stronger, bigger company.

Founded in 2005, the platform is home to more than 100,000 online communities devoted to a sweeping range of topics and was visited by an average of 76 million people daily in December, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"They come to Reddit to participate in a vibrant community, a constantly evolving place where anyone, anywhere, can connect with like-minded people and dive into any topic," co-founder and chief executive Huffman said in the letter.

"The conversation ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous, the trivial to the existential, the comic to the serious."

Communities on the platform are referred to as "subreddits", and one devoted to music star Taylor Swift eclipsed a million members last year, according to the filing.

Reddit is known for "Ask Me Anything" sessions during which influential people ranging from tech titans and famous athletes to celebrities and politicians field questions from those who log in.

A Wall Street Bets subreddit fueled a GameStop share runup in 2021 in a frenzy that inspired US congressional inquiry and a film titled "Dumb Money".

Huffman credited Reddit communities with "campaigning for net neutrality in 2015, starting the March for Science in 2017, or standing up for retail investors, as r/wallstreetbets did in 2021."

AI training

Plans to bring in money included advertising and licensing data for training large language models (LLMs)that power artificial intelligence, according to the filing.

"Reddit's vast and unmatched archive of real, timely, and relevant human conversation on literally any topic is an invaluable dataset for a variety of purposes, including search, AI training, and research," Huffman wrote.

"We expect our data advantage and intellectual property to continue to be a key element in the training of future LLMs.

Reddit had a net loss of $90.8 million in 2023 on revenue of $804 million, according to the filing.

Reddit last year suffer a brief, major outage as communities protested new fees being charged to provide access to developers.

The row was fallout in the artificial intelligence revolution, with Huffman unwilling to allow companies that build AI chatbots like ChatGPT to have free access to the site to perfect their large-language models.

AI companies had used a free application programming interface available for developers to access the massive amounts of data at Reddit to train artficial intelligence models.

"Reddit needs to be a self-sustaining business, and to do that, we can no longer subsidize commercial entities that require large-scale data use," Huffman wrote in a Reddit post at the time.

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