Pinterest has been growing like crazy, even if it's slowing down a bit. It's like nothing we've seen before, though it will likely be overtaken by some hot new startup in the coming years. In the meantime, Pinterest is the company to watch.
It's no surprise then that it's been able to raise funds at a rather impressive $1.5 billion valuation, above the $1 billion it was expected to get.
The company just raised $100 million, €78.6 million in funding, which should help it continue to grow and accommodate all its new users.
Rakuten, the largest e-commerce site in Japan, is leading the round, but plenty of others are investing, including existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital.
The money will come in handy as Pinterest plans to continue to grow at a fast pace and start to expand towards a more global audience.
It's also looking for some revenue, or at least a model, though that's probably not a priority right now. It's already making some money from affiliate links from the people that buy something they saw on Pinterest.
But Rakuten sees a lot more potential and is partnering with Pinterest to expand the site to Japan and the 17 other places where Rakuten is available. It's not hard to imagine that e-Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, and FirstMark Capital will play a big role in this and in the site's future.
“While some may see e-commerce as a straightforward vending machine-like experience, we believe it is a living process where both retailers and consumers can communicate, discover, and curate to make the experience more entertaining. We see tremendous synergies between Pinterest’s vision and Rakuten’s model for e-commerce," Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten CEO, said.
"Our goal is to help people discover things they love, by connecting people through their shared interests. Bringing Rakuten on board gives us an amazing opportunity to move a step closer to this goal," Ben Silbermann, CEO and cofounder of Pinterest, added, in the exchange of pleasantries.