Social scrapbooking site Pinterest has raised a whopping $225 million from a group of investors led by Fidelity Investments. With the latest round of funding, the company’s valuation has surged to $3.8 billion. That’s a hefty figure for a company that doesn’t generate money yet. Existing venture capital investors including Firstmark Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Valiant Capital Management and Bessemer Venture Partners also participated in the latest round of funding. Fidelity Investments said it won’t take any board seats at Pinterest.
Pinterest the next hot tech company?
As Twitter Inc. (TWTR) gears up for an IPO, Pinterest has emerged as the next hot thing as a privately-held tech company. The 3-year-old company’s pinboards have become a popular way of socializing around products. Popular brands use Pinterest as a vehicle to drive potential customers to their online stores. The company secured its first round of funding in May 2011.
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Last month, Pinterest made its first attempt at monetizing its user base. The company announced the launch of “promoted pins.” Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann reiterated that his company will not turn to pop-ups and banner ads to make money. In the initial stage, Pinterest will not collect money from advertisers, and it will mark the promoted pins as ads. As of July, Pinterest has 46.2 million users in the U.S., according to ComScore.
Pinterest to expand in international markets
Ben Silbermann said in a statement that Pinterest aims to be a service that people can use to inspire their future. The latest funding will enable the company to move toward that goal. Pinterest said it will use the funds to expand its service, with a special focus on mobile. More than 70% of its users access the site through mobile devices, reports Gerry Shih of Reuters.
Pinterest said it will make its service faster, and will acquire small companies to add new technology to its arsenal. The company also plans to expand in international markets. Pinterest has already entered the French, British and Italian markets. The company plans to expand to 10 more countries by the end of 2013.