CEO Sarah Friar sold Nextdoor as a ‘kinder’ social network. Investors are buying it—for now.

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Too much multitasking forced women from the workforce, a UN health official weighs in on U.S. abortion bans, and Nextdoor goes public. Have a lovely Tuesday.

– $KIND of a big deal. Nextdoor started trading yesterday after a merger with Khosla Ventures’ SPAC that valued the neighborhood-focused social media app led by CEO Sarah Friar at $4.3 billion. The stock closed up 17% at $13 on its first day on the New York Stock Exchange.

Nextdoor’s shares are trading under the ticker KIND, a nod to its motto to “be kind,” which isn’t exactly the tagline you’d associate with a social media platform these days, but one that reflects Friar’s insistence that the platform isn’t making the same missteps as its peers, namely Facebook.

Still, the comparisons are unavoidable. Both platforms feature a newsfeed of user-generated posts and a marketplace where users can buy and sell items like furniture and clothes. Nextdoor, which requires users to register with their street address, is location-based and became a vital tool in the pandemic, when neighbors wanted to check on one another or get the latest cul-de-sac scoop without leaving home. Nextdoor boasts 63 million users, up from 48 million in 2019.

“More people came to the platform during the middle of an emergency, but they came and they stuck around,” Friar recently told investors.

The company’s sales reached $123 million in 2020 and are forecast to surge another 47% this year and 40% next. But it remains unprofitable and expects a loss of $101 million in 2021.

Nextdoor’s approach to content monitoring does set it apart from its peers.

At Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Summit in October, Friar explained how the platform has implemented a set of speed bumps intended to cool users’ temperament and cut down on abuse like racial profiling.

“When you want to put something up on Nextdoor that begins to look like reporting a crime we actually start to explain, first of all, make sure it is really a crime. Walking in the neighborhood is not a crime,” Friar said last month. “How are you describing the person? Don’t use race, use clothing and so on, describe exactly what they’re doing.”

The prompts reduced racial profiling on the platform by nearly 70%, Friar says, but she acknowledges that such tools might also cut down on engagement.

“Some of the toughest discussions have been the tradeoff between engagement and growth versus slowing people down, and I don’t think enough platforms are doing that,” she said. “That growth-at-any-cost mentality is what is really damaging us in terms of areas like social media.”

For now, investors seem to be embracing Nextdoor’s “kinder” approach; they’ve valued the company at 20 times its projected sales next year, more than twice the multiple of Facebook, as Reuters points out. But as a public company, it may be harder for Nextdoor to uphold its do-gooder ideals and fend off the temptation to put growth above all else.

Claire Zillman

The Broadsheet, Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women, is coauthored by Kristen Bellstrom, Emma Hinchliffe, and Claire Zillman. Today’s edition was curated by Emma Hinchliffe


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