It took Pinterest just three weeks to raise $100 million from Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten and current investors, a source familiar with the deal tells us.Pinterest is a site where users can collect and categorize images and links from across the Internet, and then share those collections with friends. It’s exquisitely designed and it’s very popular with women.
Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann only visited Japan and met with Rakuten at the very end of April.
He went with plans to discuss a potential partnership; Rakuten wanted to make Pinterest the default place for its shoppers to set up wish lists for things they’d like to buy.
Partnership talks went well, and Rakuten said it would do the deal, but only if it could also invest in Pinterest.
Silbermann, says our source, “was fascinated with what Rakuten could do to accelerate business in that market.” And so, after ignoring lots of inbound interest from other investors for months, Silbermann agreed to talk to Rakuten about an investment.
It didn’t hurt that Rakuten made it clear that it was willing to write a $50 million check for a relatively small pice of the of the company – just 3.3%.
Silbermann came back to Pinterest’s current investors, and they all decided to re-up. There are also some big name individuals in the round that haven’t been disclosed yet. (We’re digging!)