Pinterest Raising $120 Million to Fund International Expansion [REPORT]

Lauren Indvik
May 17, 2012

Pinterest is raising $120 million in a funding round expected to be announced Thursday or Friday morning, according to multiple sources. The investment, Pinterest's third, places the two-year-old social bookmarking site's valuation in the range of $1 billion to $1.5 billion.

AllThingsD reports that Japanese commerce giant Raukten is leading the round with a $50 million investment. Ben Silvermann, Pinterest's CEO and cofounder, is reportedly still deciding what other financing offers to accept.

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Partnering with Raukten could open doors for Pinterest in Asia. The startup, which is still in invite-only beta, has enjoyed increasing mainstream recognition in the U.S., but has made little headway abroad. Meanwhile, clones are popping up like weeds.

One sign that Pinterest's focus is growing increasingly international: a recent post to Pinterest's corporate blog calling for translators for local-language editions of the site. French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish are the company's first priorities, it said; Dutch, Greek, Italian, Korean, Malay, Polish, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Swedish and Turkish are next.

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Pinterest has left its business model undefined -- at least publicly. For a time, the startup was quietly earning money through an affiliate revenue scheme, but quickly shut it down after media caught wind of it. Still, Pinterest seems to have great revenue-earning potential, given that the network is already driving sales for some retailers.

Pinterest has raised $37.5 million in venture capital to date. Current investors include FirstMark Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz and Ron Conway.

Rumors that Pinterest was raising a round in the range of $1 billion were first reported by The Next Web Wednesday.

Pinterest could not be reached for comment.

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This story originally published on Mashable here.