Home  › Social › Social Media
ebay-pinterest

E-commerce May Not Come Soon to Pinterest

  |  May 17, 2012   |  Comments

A Japanese e-commerce giant led $100M VC investment.

ebay-pinterestA Japanese company that owns Buy.com and other e-commerce properties have made a multi-million dollar investment in Pinterest. The move could help the social network expand into e-commerce and expand its presence outside the United States.

Rakuten, which describes itself as an online marketplace, said it is leading a $100 million investment in Pinterest. "We think there are lots of ways for our companies to work together," Buy.com CEO Neel Grover said in an interview with ClickZ. He said he didn't expect there will be dramatic changes to either sites - such as e-commerce coming to Pinterest - in coming months.

"We both believe in giving our users an entertaining and social experience," he said, adding that the properties complement one another. For instance, Rakuten e-commerce properties give shoppers the ability to chat with friends on the site and watch videos, he said.

Still, big e-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay - and Buy.com - now include Pinterest share buttons on their sites, allowing people to easily post images of products to their Pinterest boards.

Rakuten, which has $14 billion in annual revenue, operates e-commerce marketplaces Buy.com in the United States and Canada, Play.com in the U.K., Rakuten Ichiba in Japan, Rakuten Brazil, and other properties. Rakuten also owns performance marketing company LinkShare, e-books company Kobo, and other businesses.

In the United States, Buy.com sells merchandise from third parties such as Petco, Toys R Us, and OfficeMax.

The investment provides some clues into how Pinterest, which is a virtual scrapbook or pinboard, may evolve. "An investment from the largest e-commerce business in Asia makes it pretty clear where they view their niche. It's around e-commerce, product discovery...people are using it for shopping and their wish lists," said Adam Berke, president of ad tech company, AdRoll, in response to a question from ClickZ. AdRoll, which specializes in retargeting display advertising for retailers and other verticals, does not have any affiliation with Pinterest.

Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, and FirstMark Capital, as well as angel investors, also contributed in this funding round.

Pinterest and its investors did not disclose how much Rakuten contributed to the investment round. One observer said Pinterest may have negotiated a 10 percent stake to investors in this round, which would mean that Pinterest is worth $1 billion.

Kate Kaye contributed.

ClickZ Live San Francisco August 10-12: Revolutionize your digital marketing campaigns at ClickZ Live San Francisco! Educating marketers for over 15 years, our action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covers every aspect of digital marketing. Early Bird rates available through Friday, July 17 - save up to $300! Register today.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Maria Virzi

Anna Maria Virzi, ClickZ's executive editor from 2007 until 2012, covered Internet business and technology since 1996. She was on the launch team for Ziff Davis Media's Baseline and also worked at Forbes.com, Web Week, Internet World, and the Connecticut Post.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Social newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

US Consumer Device Preference Report

US Consumer Device Preference Report
Traditionally desktops have shown to convert better than mobile devices however, 2015 might be a tipping point for mobile conversions! Download this report to find why mobile users are more important then ever.

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle
Have you ever wondered what factors influence online spending or why shoppers abandon their cart? This data-rich infogram offers actionable insight into creating a more seamless online shopping experience across the multiple devices consumers are using.

WEBINARS

Jobs

  • Sr. Marketing Specialist, PPC
    Sr. Marketing Specialist, PPC (Charter Communications) - StamfordSr. Marketing Specialist, PPC– Digital Marketing Charter Communications...
  • Online Marketing Analyst
    Online Marketing Analyst (FULLBEAUTY Brands ) - New YorkINTRODUCTION: Are you interested in a unique career opportunity where you can represent...
  • Copy Editor
    Copy Editor (ClickZ / Search Engine Watch) - New YorkROLE OVERVIEW The role of the copy editor for ClickZ has many demands. Ultimately, the copy...