Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said the company was interested in going public, but the timeline is still unclear.
Reddit, the "front page of the internet" that has been ravaged by scandals in its 12-year history, is considering an initial public offering, CEO Steve Huffman reportedly said at an Internet Association summit in San Francisco on Monday.
"The time frame is pretty far out,” he said, according to Variety, adding that going public is "the only responsible choice" for the company going forward.
Reddit was sold to magazine empire Condé Nast for “between $10 and $20 million” in 2006, a year after its founding. Advance Publications, Condé's parent company, eventually spun the social network off in 2012, but remains its largest stakeholder.
Today, Reddit is valued at $1.8 billion and is the eighth most popular site on the internet. Huffman also said Monday that advertising revenues have increased five fold over the past few years, Axios reported.
But its path to popularity was mired with controversies including hacked celebrity photos and allegations of child pornography. This year, Reddit has cleaned up its act by banning hateful user-created communities, known as “subreddits,” that glorified abuse, violence, and far-right ideologies.
That’s a stark 180-degree pivot from Reddit’s historical approach to such user-generated content. In 2014, then-CEO Yishan Wong defended Reddit's hands-off approach, writing that "every man is responsible for his own soul ... We uphold the ideal of free speech on reddit as much as possible not because we are legally bound to, but because we believe that you — the user — has the right to choose between right and wrong."
Business Insider has reached out to Reddit for more information about a possible IPO and will update this post if comment is received.