Pinterest Raises Additional $200M To Turn Site Into Discovery Platform

Despite aggressive monetization efforts, Pinterest has decided to take another $200 million in capital at a valuation of $5 billion.

The bulk of the money is coming from existing investors, including SV Angel, Bessemer Venture Partners, Fidelity, Andreessen Horowitz, FirstMark Capital, and Valiant Capital Partners.

“This new investment gives us additional resources to realize our vision … of solving discovery,” stated Ben Silbermann, Pinterest co-founder and CEO.

That means continuing to invest in technology and talent to develop Pinterest into a discovery platform, including the expansion of its Guided Search service, a company spokesman clarified on Friday.

Added to Pinterest’s mobile iOS and Android apps in late April, Guided Search surfaces content from other users -- or “Pinners” -- by taking a simple search term like “glasses,” and suggesting additional terms -- or “tokens” -- that further refine a search.

A cross between a social network and a visual search engine, Pinterest has established itself as one of the Web’s more popular sites.  This year, about 40 million users are expected to visit Pinterest at least once a month -- nearly 16% more than a year ago -- according to eMarketer.

The company is also focused on international growth and additional monetization. Worldwide, Pinterest says it is now available in 31 countries, while international users represent about 30% of its total audience.

While its business model continues to take shape, Pinterest hasn’t been afraid to take large sums of capital.

In February 2013, the company raised $200 million, and, just last October, it took another $225 million. With this latest infusion -- first reported by ReadWrite on Thursday -- Pinterest has now raised a total of $764 million.

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