Pinterest raises $100 million to bolster growth

@CNNMoneyTech May 17, 2012: 3:05 PM ET
pinterest.top.jpg

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Hot social network Pinterest just landed a sizable cash infusion: The company raised $100 million in a financing round by e-commerce giant Rakuten. Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital also participated in the round.

The latest funding from the Tokyo-based Rakuten values Pinterest at $1.5 billion, according to a source close to the company.

"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," Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani said in a press release.

It's a strategic move for Pinterest, which said it will use the funding to continue branching out globally.

"The investment also marks the start of a strategic partnership between Rakuten and Pinterest to help expand in Japan and into Rakuten's 17 other global markets," the companies said in the release.

Palo Alto, Calif-based Pinterest, which allows users to create a virtual pinboard showcasing items they find around the Web, has over 18 million active users. Previous backing includes $37 million from tech heavyweights SV Angel and Highline Venture Partners.

Neel Grover, CEO of Rakuten subsidiary Buy.com, told CNNMoney that discussions have been in the works for a couple months.

"We reached out several months ago and had some discussions on how we thought the world similarly," he said. "Pinterest needs a way to accelerate their user base and build on their company. With Rakuten's global presence and large market places, we think there's a lot we can do with e-commerce long term." To top of page

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.