Owners of the site were looking to raise $120 million to fund an expansion campaign across the globe. They caught the eye of Japanese e-commerce giant, Rakuten who has confirmed a $100 million investment.
This is the third investment in the site, which is now valued at $1 billion to $1.5 billion.
CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani said they thought the deal was fitting because “we believe (e-commerce) is a process where both retailers and consumers can communicate, discover and curate.”
In April, the picture-sharing site had 20 million users, according to ComScore. It’s also the sixteenth most-visited site in the US. It’s an invite-only beta, although you can also request membership. Members share images of things they find appealing.
Many websites now have the option to “pin it” if you want to share a picture, article or video. As they say, a picture paints a thousand words!
The network has huge marketing potential and has proven this by driving sales for some retailers. It has taken the focus away from text and emphasised the power of images, colour and photography. Members can share fashion, food and creative tips.
“Pinterest has made the Web a lot more beautiful,” says Mike Schneider who helps companies use the site for marketing. “When people find magic on the Web, it gets imitated.”
Thus, replicas of Pinterest have been wriggling through all corners of the internet. Some copycat sites include All Women Stalk and an app called Springpad, which have used the pin-board design to share content.
But Mikitani believes the original will prosper, “Pinterest is the future - it’s more straightforward and appealing to the instinct of human beings than text.”