Instagram Has Only A Handful Of Employees, But May Soon Be Valued At $500 Million

Kevin Systrom at Le WebInstagram founder Kevin Systrom

Photo: LeWeb 11 via Flickr

Instagram, the popular photo sharing app for iPhone, is about to raise $40 million at a jaw-dropping valuation — perhaps as much as $500 million.That’s for a company that at last count had only 9 employees and hasn’t really started trying to make money yet.

The news was reported today in the Wall Street Journal. Last week, Bloomberg reporter Jon Erlichman tweeted that the company was about to raise a new round that would “make you go wow.”

Instagram has seen spectacular growth, getting more than 15 million users in less than two years, and was adding them at a pace of a million every couple of weeks toward the end of last year.

Founder Kevin Systrom told us that he hasn’t decided exactly how Instagram will make money, but he’s confident that there’s an opportunity.

“The question is, is there an opportunity beyond group buying, search advertising, to make a whole lot of revenue on the iPhone, on Android. I believe the answer is yes, that’s what we’re going after,” he told us in November.

See also: This 27-Year-Old Built One Of The Fastest-Growing Apps Ever Without Spending A Dime On Marketing

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