If you’ve attended any mass gathering of investors in Silicon Valley lately, you’ve probably heard some buzz about invite-only visual bookmarking site Pinterest raising a “massive” round.
Business Insider initially reported the round as having $75+ million valuation last week and then amended its report to reflect that the valuation was actually lower according to another one of their sources.
We’re hearing from multiple sources that Pinterest already quietly raised a $10 million Series A from Bessemer late this spring, at a $40 million pre-money valuation. According to the same sources, the company is now trying to raise around the same amount in a Series B whose valuation one source has pegged at around $125 million and another has held at under $200 million (note: one uninvolved investor I talked to said those valuations for a Series B seemed “ridiculous” right now).
Why raise money again, so close to your Series A? Well, the simple answer is because founders Ben Silbermann and Paul Sciarra can. The site itself is experiencing impressive growth and a lot of positive word of mouth from high-profile techies. Just from personal experience it seems like every other day a random person is now following all of my boards on Pinterest. Some specific reasons for Pinterest’s growth are throughly outlined over on Quora here.
Despite the site’s success, there are whispers that some notable investors passed entirely on both rounds, out of concern that the “virtual pinboard” it isn’t a mass market play. Prior to these funding rumors, Pinterest was prominently the site that “inspired” Myspace’s most recent (tumultuous) redesign.
Pinterest is a social networking site with a visually-pleasing “virtual pinboard” interface. Users collect photos and link to products they love, creating their own pinboards and following the pinboards of other people whom they find interesting. The site has experienced rapid growth in recent months.