Pinterest valued at $2.5 billion

February 21, 2013

Pinterest raised $200 million in its latest round of funding Wednesday afternoon, a move that values the site at $2.5 billion -- or roughly one-third of Twitter’s current valuation, according to Bloomberg.

Valiant Capital Management, which also recently boosted its holdings of Facebook, Apple and Google , led this round of funding. Pinterest investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital also participated.

The funding is the latest sign that Pinterest, once dismissed as “digital crack for women,” is becoming a serious force in the social media space. The site lets users create and follow their own “pinboards,” basically visual collections on topics like food, fitness and weddings.

Pinterest recorded 29 million unique visitors in December, according to Comscore, making it the 42nd-most visited site on the Web. Its year-over-year growth was even more impressive: 1,047%, according to Nielsen’s annual report. Twitter’s year-over-year growth, by comparison, was 13%.

But for Pinterest, as for Twitter, monetization remains a major issue. The site doesn’t sell ads. In November, Pinterest launched new tools for businesses -- a move many considered a play for greater business integration -- but the tools remain free.

“Right now, we’re focused on growing Pinterest and making it more valuable,” the company said in a September post on its on-site help forum.

The company said in a statement Wednesday that it would use its funding to hire more employees, improve infrastructure and develop more features for users.

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Caitlin Dewey runs The Intersect blog, writing about digital and Internet culture. Before joining the Post, she was an associate online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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