Share and Enjoy
Reports are this week confirming that Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten have injected $100million into Pinterest. Running the numbers would suggest that the company running virtual boards of images and products, is valued at approximately $1.5billion – an impressive growth from the estimated $200million valuation last year. This values the company significantly higher than the estimated $1billion that Facebook have paid for Instagram, and a representation of why Pinterest is the fastest growing social network in history with an estimated 20 million users and growing.
What did Rakuten have to say?
Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten, said in a 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.”
“We pride ourselves on being a more social and interactive e-commerce company than others,” he said. “we have this mission of empowerment, trying to bring our retailers, our merchants and our consumers closer together and foster communication between them. In looking at the Pinterest model, we saw this fascinating and powerful way to enable people to find, discover and share the things that they love.”
Rakuten has been joined in the raising of capital by existing shareholders Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital and a number of angel investors.
…and the future
Among other investments, it is expected that the funding will help Pinterest expand into the rest of the world, including Japan and Rakuten’s 17 other markets, Rakuten said. Rumors also suggest that Rakuten will also be integrating some of its own services at some point to improve the opportunities to monetize the site.
Michael Jaconi, CEO of Rakuten subsidiary FreeCause and Executive Officer at Rakuten confirmed “what our goal is, is to really help the Pinterest team grow their service around the world. Rakuten of course has a wonderful springboard into the Japanese market, but we’re a global company, with operations in 17 countries around the world, and we’re going to help bring Pinterest to the Japanese market, and to all the markets in which we compete.”
Ben Silbermann, co-founder and CEO of Pinterest, said “our goal is to help people discover things they love, by connecting people through their shared interests”. “Bringing Rakuten on board gives us an amazing opportunity to move a step closer to this goal.”
The Pinterest News Team