Pinterest raises $100 million in funding

By Staff Reporter

May 17, 2012 08:47 AM EDT

Japan-based online retailing giant Rakuten is leading the latest $100 million round of funding in U.S. social networking site Pinterest, saying on Thursday it expects the site to help it expand at home and in its 17 overseas markets.

Interest in Pinterest, where users can "pin" their photographs and images and follow others' collections, has grown rapidly in recent months to become the 16th most-visited site in the United States, according to the Web information company Alexa.

Existing Pinterest investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, and FirstMark Capital, as well as a number of angel investors also participated in the latest financing, Rakuten said in a statement, without disclosing how much each party has invested.

Earlier the Wall Street Journal had said the funding values Pinterest at $1.5 billion, citing people familiar with the matter.

"We see tremendous synergies between Pinterest's vision and Rakuten's model for e-commerce," Rakuten's chief executive Hiroshi Mikitani said.

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