While it pales in comparison to the $1 billion+ Facebook public offering today, social bulletin board Pinterest, the topic of a recent blog post of mine, has snagged its own financial windfall this week. It comes in the form of a $100 million investment led by Rakuten, Inc., a Japanese conglomerate of Internet-oriented businesses.
With this filing, Pinterest is now valued at approximately $1.5 billion.
Why is Rakuten making the investment? Very likely because one of the key components of the conglomerat is e-Commerce Marketplace, which is Japan’s leading electronic commerce player.
Michael Jaconi, an executive officer at Rakuten, is quoted as saying that “Pinterest recognizes Rakuten as a global Internet player and they want to leverage some of the skill set in the growing business world.”
With 77 million members in Japan already, Rakuten has ambitious plans to become “the top global internet service company,” according to Mr. Jaconi.
But why choose Pinterest instead of Facebook or Twitter for such a major financial investment?
The answer to that question isn’t necessarily “either/or,” actually. “We want to continue investing in technology that is as innovative as Pinterest,” Jaconi notes. “If we need to buy and invest to bring us closer to that source of innovation, we will.”
Stay tuned, obviously.