Feeds

Pinterest valued at $1.5 BILLION, bags $100m in funding

Next stop: Japan

The essential guide to IT transformation

Cupcake and kitten-laden photo site Pinterest has bagged $100m in funding from a bunch of investors led by Japanese online retailer Rakuten.

Rakuten said today that it was heading up the multimillion-dollar handout with help from existing Pinterest investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital as well as some angel investors.

The etailer is also partnering up with Pinterest to help it expand in Japan and other markets.

"While some may see e-commerce as a straightforward vending machine-like experience, we believe it is a living process where both retailers and consumers can communicate, discover, and curate to make the experience more entertaining," Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten, gushed in a canned statement.

"We see tremendous synergies between Pinterest’s vision and Rakuten’s model for e-commerce. Rakuten looks forward to introducing Pinterest to the Japanese market as well as other markets around the world."

According to the Wall Street Journal, the financing round of $100m gives Pinterest a value of $1.5bn. In the last funding round last year, the company was valued at $200m.

Pinterest is another one of the many new web properties that seem to be popular but haven't actually made any money yet. That hasn't stopped investors of various types pouring in the cash in the hopes that these sites can find a way to monetise their popularity.

According to webby beancounters Alexa*, Pinterest is the 36th most popular site in the world and is ranked 16th in the US.

The site consists of people "pinning" photos of stuff they're interested in or like, which other people can peruse for free. One imagines the only way to make money out of this would be the traditional routes of sticking advertising on the site and/or going subscription, but the company has not made it very clear which of these routes it might go down or if it's had some other brainwave about how to turn its success into cold, hard cash without putting people off.

Nevertheless, Rakuten is a big buddy to have onside: the company has a billion-dollar turnover and has been expanding its retail empire, snapping up the UK's Play.com last year for $39.3m. ®

Bootnote

* Alexa has used a small sample here, because it only counts folks who have the Alexa toolbar on their web browser, but its rankings are based on the last month of average daily visitors and pageviews.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.