Pinterest, the content discovery website that has achieved massive mainstream popularity by letting people clip and share their favorite photos and videos online with virtual “pinboards,” is making it very clear that it is much more than just a pretty face — it’s a big business.
Pinterest confirmed today that it has secured approximately $200 million in a new funding round led by new investor Valiant Capital Management. Also participating in the round, which serves as Pinterest’s Series D, were existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, and FirstMark Capital. The news was first reported this afternoon by AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher; Pinterest subsequently confirmed the funding round and valuation in an email to TechCrunch.
We’ve heard from two sources that the Walt Disney Co. had also been expressing interest in taking part in this latest round, which has been buzzed about for a couple of weeks now. But it now seems as if those talks did not end up leading to an investment in the end.
The new funding was raised at a valuation of $2.5 billion, a Pinterest representative said via email. The money will be put toward the typical growth-oriented initiatives: Hiring, new product and technology development, better infrastructure, international growth, and M&A. Pinterest, which is based in San Francisco, currently has a staff of about 100.
The company has also issued the following quotation by CEO Ben Silbermann:
“Our focus is on helping millions of people discover things they love and get inspiration to go do those things in their life. This investment gives us more resources to help realize that vision.”
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.