Regardless of varying reports of Pinterest's growth as of late, the social photo-sharing site was still able to raise $100 million in venture capital, with a valuation of $1.5 billion. Tokyo-based Rakuten, Inc., one of the world's largest internet companies, contributed $50 million to the latest investment round. Since its inception in 2008, Pinterest was only able to garner about $40 million, and more investors beyond Rakuten and the others who signed on should be announced tonight by CEO Ben Silbermann.
According to All Things D, while looking for a global strategic investor, Silbermann spoke with many companies in Asia, and went with Rakuten, and according to an insider, “He just really liked them.” Other Pinterest investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital, and other well-known angel investors. Rakuten is one of the largest e-commerce companies in the world, with revenues of $4.7 billion last year, and will help Pinterest to better monetize its pinboards.
It was recently reported that Pinterest was losing Facebook-connected users, as well as regular users in general. Though other reports document the site's growth, putting it on par with Facebook in average user time spent on the platform, at 405 minutes per month. Either way, Pinterest is still a relatively new platfrom. Ups and downs can be attributed to mere growing pains.