Who knew scrapbooking on the Internet could be so valuable? The popular social media site has raised another round of cash to hit the $5 billion valuation. Pinterest announced on its site that it had raised an additional $200 million. This is just seven months removed when it raised $225 million.
Total funding for Pinterest stands at $764 million, bringing it to the top of most valuable venture backed startups. Now comes the revenue part. It has the valuation, and it stands as the tech darling of venture funds. Investors range from the omnipresent Andreessen Horowitz to a Japanese firm, Rakuten.
What does Pinterest plan to do with the cash? Expand, and fast. It wants to take its global footprint to all points on the globe. Right now, Pinterest is in 31 countries. Expect that to grow rapidly.
The funding comes at a time when several public tech companies are getting hammered on Wall Street. Some observers are scratching their heads at the funding juxtaposed against several household name tech stocks getting hammered. Stocks such as Netflix, Facebook and others have been hammered as of late. Is it a case of Wall Street shunning tech, or are the momentum plays the first to go in a correction?
Wall Street has been reliant on QE since the financial crisis of 2008. The Federal Reserve has acted like a hose to prop equity markets up. That program is ending, and fundamentals are starting to come into play.
Meanwhile, Pinterest is starting to jump into selling advertising. And the commitments are not for the faint of heart. The company is charging up to $2 million from major companies such as Gap, Kraft and General Mills. For three to six-month commitments.
Pinterest is in an interesting social vertical. Pinners often pin products they have purchased. It presents an untapped buyers market for advertisers. It becomes targeted rather quickly, allowing the social site to charge more advertising than other tech companies like Twitter and Facebook.
As for the valuation, it seems the company is heading towards an IPO versus an acquisition. A $5 billion valuation would demand a sizable premium, which most tech companies just don’t have the stomach for.