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Reddit's co-founder is bickering with investors on the company's big IPO day

Samantha Stokes   

Reddit's co-founder is bickering with investors on the company's big IPO day
  • Reddit went public Thursday after raising $748 million in its initial IPO.
  • IPOs are normally a day of celebration for companies.

IPOs are typically a day reserved for celebration. But it's not all sunshine and roses for Reddit, whose co-founder and early investors are bickering on social media.

Alexis Ohanian, who co-founded Reddit in 2005 alongside Steve Huffman, took to X, formerly known on Twitter, on Thursday afternoon to call out Initialized Capital — the VC firm that he co-founded with Y Combinator's Garry Tan — for not congratulating him by name in the firm's post about the company's IPO.

"Great to see our portfolio company @reddit debut on the NYSE! congrats to Steve Huffman, and the team," Initialized Capital posted on X Thursday afternoon.

In response, Ohanian quoted the posts and tagged the accounts for Tan and Initialized managing partners Brett Gibson and Jen Wolf.

Wow, this is petty, @GarryTan, @brettdg, @jenhwolf — even for y'all," he wrote.

Ohanian and Tan created Initialized back in 2011 to focus on seed investing, and the firm has written early checks for startups including Instacart, Rippling, and Coinbase. It also invested in Reddit's 2012 Series A funding round.

He left Initialized in 2020 to launch the VC firm 776, which has primarily invested in early-stage crypto startups. The move came just weeks after Ohanian, who stepped away from Reddit's day-to-day operations in 2018, resigned as a board member in the wake of George Floyd's murder and implored the company to replace him with a Black person.

Michael Seibel, a colleague of Tan's at Y Combinator, took over his seat, becoming the first Black board member in Reddit's history.

Reddit first sparked rumors it planned to go public in early 2022, when it confidentially filed for an initial IPO and stated plans to potentially go public by March of that year. The market, however, has been shaky during the past two years, making it less desirable to go public and causing several companies to put off pursuing an IPO.

Instacart broke open the IPO market in late 2023, but its public offering flopped and likely had a cooling effect on other late-stage startups weighing whether they should go public.

Reddit's first day on the New York Stock Exchange, however, has been a success: the company set its initial share price at $34 Wednesday night and opened Thursday morning at $47 apiece.

On Tan's personal X profile, he did tag both Ohanian and Huffman in a post congratulating Reddit on its stock market debut.

"Big congrats @alexisohanian @redditspez on building something people want," Tan wrote, sharing a link to Reddit's profile on Y Combinator — the startup was a member of the accelerator's inaugural class — and an old photo of the two.

Ohanian responded to Tan's post, linking the post from Initialized Capital.

"Thanks Garry!" he wrote. "any idea what happened here?"

Ohanian, Tan, and representatives for Initialized Capital did not immediately respond to requests for comment.