Kara Swisher and Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Pinterest Does Another Massive Funding — $225 Million at $3.8 Billion Valuation (Confirmed)

According to several sources, Pinterest has completed another enormous funding, this time nabbing $225 million with late-stage investor Fidelity Investments in the lead.

The new infusion of cash — which comes on the heels of a very recent and massive funding in February of $200 million that valued the social scrapbooking company at $2.5 billion — pegs the latest valuation of Pinterest at $3.8 billion.

That’s obviously a whole lot of pins.

A Pinterest spokesman declined comment on funding efforts.

Sources said most of its current investors — including Andreessen Horowitz, FirstMark Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Valiant Capital Management — reupped in the latest round. But Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, which had already sunk $100 million into the San Francisco-based social scrapbooking site in May of 2012, was not part of this round.

Sources said the money was aimed in part at goosing international efforts, which has seen strong growth.

(Update: Pinterest is now confirming the funding, investors and valuation, with a statement from co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann: “We hope to be a service that everyone uses to inspire their future, whether that’s dinner tomorrow night, a vacation next summer, or a dream house someday. This new investment enables us to pursue that goal even more aggressively.”)

The company recently said it hired country managers — its first global employees — in France (where it launched its first localized edition in June) and England. Pinterest had also indicated interest in Japan, when it raised money from Rakuten. It also expanded to Italy.

Ambitiously, sources said Pinterest has plans to expand to up to a dozen additional countries by the end of the year.

Also on the international front, Pinterest just scored a deal (again, unpaid) to be preinstalled on Google Android phones distributed by Telefónica’s various carrier brands in Latin America and Europe.

Pinterest has seen huge growth as consumers have flocked to the free site on which they “pin” photos of their interests and share them widely. Usage has exploded since it was founded several years ago and has also become an increasingly key driver of traffic across the Web to other sites.

While comScore showed Pinterest had 24.9 million unique monthly users in September, that is only in the United States and is desktop only. As AllThingsD previously reported, in March alone, after mobile and international is added, it had close to 50 million unique monthly users worldwide.

Growth is the ticket to Pinterest’s funding, since it hasn’t had the opportunity to have slowing revenue growth or disappoint investors with monetization troubles yet, because it has yet to even try to make any money. In fact, the company started its first test of advertising, called “promoted pins” that appear in search results and category feeds, just a few weeks ago.

But that’s an unpaid trial, according to the extensive disclosure post personally penned by Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann that tried to ease users into the idea of advertisers having any place at all on the site.

Still, as with Facebook’s Instagram, advertisers are interested in finding new ways of reaching consumers in innovative ways. Pinterest, essentially, is building the ultimate personalized catalog of the digital age.

Continuing to grow mobile usage is also key for Pinterest, as it is with many other Internet companies. Sources said that, too, has grown to represent a huge part of its user base.

Pinterest had 150 employees as of September.

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

I’m a giant vat of creative juices.

— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo