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Anyone familiar with Pinterest? I know nothing about this company...

Pinterest could be next big thing after Twitter

SAN FRANCISCO — The tech world may be abuzz about Twitter, but a big new social network is showing that it is no slouch.

Scrapbooking website Pinterest confirmed on Wednesday that it has raised US$225 million (S$278 million) in a new round of financing that values the company at US$3.8 billion (S$4.7 billion).

That is quite the haul for the year: The company disclosed in February that it had reaped US$200 million.

And with Twitter primed to go public in a matter of weeks, the spotlight could shift to Pinterest as a hot social media prospect coming down the initial public offering pipeline.

The latest deal makes Pinterest one of the most valuable privately held consumer Internet companies only two-and-a-half years after it secured its first round of venture capital financing in May 2011.

Its new valuation also makes it worth more than publicly traded Internet firm Zynga.

Pinterest said the latest funding was led by mutual-fund firm Fidelity Investments, a new investor, with participation from existing investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital.

The round brings the company’s total funding to US$565 million and boosts its valuation from US$2.5 billion during February’s financing round.

By comparison, two years ago it raised US$27 million at a US$200 million valuation, tech site AllThingsD reported at the time.

Compare that trajectory to Twitter’s, whose valuation jumped from US$200,000 in July 2007 to US$3.6 billion in December 2010, according to research firm PitchBook.

In the prospectus for its forthcoming initial public offering, Twitter said that as of August, it valued itself at nearly US$13 billion.

Pinterest’s co-founder and Chief Executive Ben Silbermann said: “We hope to be a service that everyone uses to inspire their future, whether that’s dinner tomorrow night, a vacation next summer or a dream house some day.

“This new investment enables us to pursue that goal even more aggressively.”

The site, which is free for consumers, lets people share images of objects or projects by “pinning” pictures online. The company said it would use the capital to expand internationally and develop its mobile apps.