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Facebook fever prices social network at $70bn

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Doomsayers who believe the Internet is looking like a bubble again will be out in force, following GSV Capital’s decision to tip $US6.6 million into Facebook.

The dollar value is trivially small, but GVC is only buying 225,000 shares, putting a notional valuation of $US70bn on the social network site.

Even that number is slightly lower than the level at which Facebook shares are being privately traded, according to this Fortune piece in which GVC back-pats itself for getting a discount.

The new investor calls Facebook “the top private company in the world” and said it’s feasible that the company could remain private indefinitely.

Each new investment in Facebook bumps the company’s ostensible value around by billions. Back in 2008, Facebook valued itself at only a few billion.

In 2009, Russian company DST’s buy-in tagged the company at $10bn, while in 2010 it was said to be worth $23bn.

The bubble-pump was given a couple more strokes earlier this year, when an investment from Goldman Sachs lifted that price tag to $US50bn.

Even at a discount, GVC’s investment pushes Facebook towards the speculative figure of $100 billion that CBNC believes it would fetch if it went ahead with an IPO in 2012.

GSV claims Facebook now has a user base of more than 650 million people, which would put it in front of one-tenth the world’s population. ®

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