Pinterest has finally come out and confirmed that it has raised $200 million in a round of funding that was led by Valiant Capital Management, with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, and FirstMark Capital. The new round brings Pinterest’s total raised to $338 million since 2010 and values the company at $2.5 billion.
While the company has yet to generate revenue, its hyper-engaged user base and dangerously addictive nature have made it the apple of Silicon Valley’s eye. Have you tried to stop in for a brief peek and leave quickly to get on with more productive things? You can’t. You have to pin all the things. Because food. And crafts.
“The historical text-based Web is going away,” said Rick Heitzmann, Pinterest investor and managing director of FirstMark Capital, in a recent interview. “People want a better filter on the Web. There’s a loss for time, and an element of social curation there. You create it with people you trust, and people whose taste you trust.”
The site has proven to be a hit with the ladies. A recent Pew study revealed that nearly 20% of Internet-using women in the Web are on Pinterest. Altogether, 12% of the U.S. population is on Pinterest, which saw its unique monthly visits skyrocket to 48 million in December 2012 from just nine million the year before, according to comScore.
When I see which of my Facebook friends are on Pinterest, there is a noticeable dearth of dudes. Will Pinterest ever develop more male-appeal? Heitzmann thinks so.
“The male user base has increased,” he said. “The use case might be different. I have a few recipes on there. But it started with women, and women know women.”
Heitzmann revealed that he has 52 boards and over 1,000 pins, which include funny animal pins.
“Our focus is on helping millions of people discover things they love,” said CEO Ben Silbermann, in a statement. “This investment gives us more resources to help realize that vision.”
The company says that it plans to use the new funds to recruit more engineering, design, and business talent, ramp up tech development, facilitate international expansion, support strategic acquisitions, and invest in technological infrastructure to make the service faster and more efficient.
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