Facebook CFO Gideon Yu is still looking for funding at the $15 billion valuation Microsoft set purchasing 1.6% of the company for $240 million in the company in Fall 2007*, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told TechCrunch:
[Zuckerberg] confirmed that Facebook’s $15 billion valuation round was still open and that CFO Gideon Yu was open to new investors at that price. But he denied that Facebook was pitching for new money at a lower valuation. “We’re not actively going around trying to raise money from a lot of different people. It’s more just a follow on to that [previous round].”
Considering Facebook had to cancel an employee stock sale program because it couldn’t find buyers for its employees’ shares at a $4 billion valuation, Yu’s quest to keep the $15 billion round open seems ambitious if not downright quixotic as he travels to locations as remote as Dubai.
Of course, Yu is selling a different class of shares than the kind Facebook employees hold. Like Microsoft got, investers buying in at $15 billion would get preferred shares that would allow them to get their money back first in the event of any sale.
But according to Valleywag, which broke the canceled stock sale story, the reason Facebook couldn’t find investors to buy in at $4 billion valuation was because Facebook wouldn’t offer prospective buyers those very same protective provisions.
*For its $240 million, Microsoft also kept Facebook out of Google’s hands and landed an advertising deal.