With Facebook set to hit the public markets at a valuation over $100 billion, another social network is stealing the spotlight this morning.
Pinterest, which investors think is the next Facebook, is raising over $100 million in funding at a $1.5 billion valuation.
Japanese e-commerce site Rakuten is the lead investor. Previous investors, Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, and FirstMark Capital, also participated.
Rakuten has been trying (unsuccessfully) to get a foothold in the U.S. e-commerce market. Pinterest, which allows users to “pin” photos of their favourite stuff, is seen as a social commerce site.
In the release announcing the funding, Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani said, “While some may see e-commerce as a straightforward vending machine-like experience, we believe it is a living process where both retailers and consumers can communicate, discover, and curate to make the experience more entertaining.”
As for Pinterest, it now raised ~$140 million in funding. It shouldn’t have to worry about raising more money for a while. It can zero in on making the site work. Lately it’s been losing daily users, so it better solve that problem.