Rakuten is the largest e-commerce website in Japan and was the lead investor in a $100 million round of funding in Pinterest. Pinterest is now valued at $1.5 billion. Previous investors in Pinterest include several angel investors, Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital.
Before this round of funding, Pinterest was valued at $200 million as of October. They had raised slightly under $40 million up until this round.
Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann was concerned about the company’s global growth and fighting off international clones. They were looking for a partner that they could work with closely and Rakuten ended up being a great fit.
?Ben did not want anymore VCs,? said a source with AllThingsD. ?He wanted an investor that moved the company forward.?
Rakuten was founded in 1997 and hit $4.7 billion in 2011 revenues. Rakuten CEO Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani is one of the richest men in Japan and has been described as ?Richard Branson meets Michael Dell.?