Not too shabby for a company that was being run out of an apartment 18 months ago: Pinterest has finally confirmed rumors swirling around the valley for the past couple weeks that it’s now worth $2.5 billion. That’s the valuation that the social media juggernaut snagged as part of a new, $200 million funding round.
According to an email from a company spokesman, the round was led by Valiant Capital Management (whose founder recently agreed to buy the Sacramento Kings with Steve Ballmer and move them to Seattle). Previous investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Ventures and FirstMark Capital anted up again as well. All told, the round more than doubles Pinterest’s previous investments by venture firms and angels.
In a statement, Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann said: “Our focus is on helping millions of people discover things they love … This investment gives us more resources to help realize that vision.” Specifically, the company plans to use the new loot to develop new features, recruit more engineers and designers and expand internationally.
Silbermann and Co. also want to invest in Pinterest’s technical infrastructure to make the service faster and more reliable. Oh yeah, and they’re planning more “strategic acquisitions,” including the ever-popular acqui-hires.
It’s pretty unusual in my experience for a company to publicly own up to a rumored dollar valuation. But in this case, Pinterest clearly felt the $2.5B figure had been noised around so much that it wasn’t much of a secret. Plus, if you’re in a battle for engineering talent, it never hurts to be able to say, “Yeah, our pre-IPO company’s worth $2.5 billion.”