Facebook Raises $1.5 Billion At $50 Billion Valuation

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Facebook has officially announced that it has just raised $1.5 billion in funding at a $50 billion valuation, according to a release issued today (we’ve embedded the release below).

As stated in the release, the investment was broken into two parts. Goldman Sachs participated in the first round (via an offering to its non-U.S. clients in a fund), which totaled $1 billion. In December, DST and Goldman separately invested another $500 million into the social network. Both rounds gave Facebook a $50 billion valuation, says the company. This brings Facebook’s total funding to a staggering $2.336 billion.

It’s interesting to note that Facebook didn’t take the full $1.5 billion from Goldman Sachs in the first part of the investment. As stated in the release:

Under the transaction’s terms, Facebook had the option to accept between $375 million and $1.5 billion from the Goldman Sachs overseas offering, at the discretion of Facebook. While the offering was oversubscribed, Facebook made a business decision to limit the offering to $1 billion.

One has to wonder if the fact that Goldman excluded U.S. investors from the round had to do with Facebook not raising the full $1.5 billion (which would push the total investment to a whopping $2 billion).

Another interesting tidbit from the release is this: Even before the investment from Goldman Sachs, Facebook had expected to pass 500 shareholders at some point in 2011, and therefore expects to start filing public financial reports no later than April 30, 2012.

Clearly, it looks like Facebook plans to IPO no later than April 2012.

So what will Facebook do with this massive amount of cash? The company says it has no set plans but vaguely stated that it will be “investing to build and expand its operations.”

The Goldman investment was first reported by New York Times’ Dealbook.

So much for that slow Friday news day.

Facebook Raises $1.5 Billion

Facebook Receives $1 Billion from Goldman Sachs Overseas Offering; Digital Sky Technologies and Goldman Sachs Also Recently Made $500 Million Direct Investment

Investment Values Facebook at $50 Billion

PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Facebook today announced it has raised U.S.$1.5 billion at a valuation of approximately $50 billion.

The transaction consisted of two parts. Today, Goldman Sachs completed an oversubscribed offering to its non-U.S. clients in a fund that invested $1 billion in Facebook Class A common stock. In December, Digital Sky Technologies (DST), The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., and funds managed by Goldman Sachs invested $500 million in Facebook Class A common stock at the same valuation.

“Our business continues to perform well, and we are pleased to be able to bolster our cash position with this new financing,” said David Ebersman, Facebook’s chief financial officer. “With this investment completed, we now have greater financial flexibility to explore whatever opportunities lie ahead.”

The investment generated a significant number of questions from interested parties and Facebook has addressed the most common ones below.

Why did Facebook raise this money?

DST and Goldman Sachs approached Facebook to express their interest in making an investment, and Facebook decided it was an attractive opportunity to bolster its cash reserves and increase its financial flexibility with limited dilution to existing shareholders.

Why did Facebook choose to raise $1 billion in the overseas offering?

Under the transaction’s terms, Facebook had the option to accept between $375 million and $1.5 billion from the Goldman Sachs overseas offering, at the discretion of Facebook. While the offering was oversubscribed, Facebook made a business decision to limit the offering to $1 billion.

What are Facebook’s plans for the proceeds of this transaction?

There are no immediate plans for these funds. Facebook will continue investing to build and expand its operations.

Does this investment mean that Facebook will have more than 500 shareholders?

Even before the investment from Goldman Sachs, Facebook had expected to pass 500 shareholders at some point in 2011, and therefore expects to start filing public financial reports no later than April 30, 2012.

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