On Friday, Pinterest raised $186 million in its Series G funding round, led by investors Goldman Sachs and Wellington Management Company. With the new funding rounds and the amount raised, the total valuation of the company reaches more than half a billion dollars.
Apart from the new investors Goldman Sachs and Wellington Management Company, the round was participated by existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, SV Angel, Valiant Capital Management and Fidelity Investment. There seem to be plenty of investors who are ready to cash into the virtual pin board company, that started its revenue generating ads in January. Since its inception in 2009, the company has raised $1.3 billion.
Other than the funding, the company will provide its employees with ‘secondary offering,’ to make cash out of their equity. It is for the employees who wish to sell their vested at the $11 billion valuation of the Series G funding. No new shares would be issued, so this won’t weaken the current stock. Percentage of Pinterest’s equity has not been revealed. This is not the first time, the company is opening its option of secondary sale to its employees. It opened up the same for its employees previously in October 2012.
Through this strategic move, the Pinterest is trying to introduce plans for the benefit of the employees. Even Sharp, co-founder of Pinterest said, “We have focused a lot since the beginning of the year on our relationship with employees and on what role we play in the modern startup environment.” Now if the employees leave the company, they would have seven years to buy their stock options which is usually three months in a company. The shorter period of three months is an indirect way of keeping the employees in the company for a longer period.
Though the Pinterest’s decision, may hurt the employee retention rate, Sharp claims it would be other way. He said, “We are trying to build this opt-in culture, and we think this is the way to do it. People want to work at a company that has their best interest in mind.”