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Funding Ding Ding

Backlash to the Pinterest Valuation: $1.5 Billion? Really?

Screen Shot 2012-05-17 at 10.51.25 AM

AllThingsD’s scoop about a new round of funding for Pinterest has now been confirmed. Rakuten, the largest ecommerce site in Japan, is leading a $100 million investment round in Pinterest at a $1.5 billion valuation, eclipsing Instagram’s valuation by a cool half billion. Existing investors, including Andreeseen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, and FirstMark Capital, as well as previous angel investors, also participated.

If you’re following along at home, that’s an $800 million valuation bump in eight months for a company with no revenue yet to speak of. Last October, Pinterest was valued at just $200 million.

The synergy for the two companies is obvious: Pinterest gets a leg up in expanding into Japan, where Pinterest is “growing very fast,” says Rakuten’s CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, as well as the ecommerce giant’s 17 other markets. But for Rakuten, the deal may be even sweeter. As TechCrunch reports, roughly 70 percent of Japan’s Internet population (about 80 million people) have a Rakuten ID–the same kind of ID consumers here have with Apple or Amazon, that includes payment details.  Read More

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Thre.ad, a Social Network for Street Style, Is Raising a $760K Debt Round

via Huffington Post

Thre.ad, a New York City-based social network that lets users share street style through “threads” of photos, is in the process of raising a $760,000 debt round, according to the startup’s amended Form D filing on FormDs.com.

As Thre.ad co-founder and CEO Mimi Nguyen explained to Betabeat by email, the social network lets users spot and tag photos with brands and styles and share it with the rest of the Thre.ad community.  “If Twitter and Instagram had a baby, it would be thre.ad!” Ms. Nguyen told the Huffington Post when the company launched in private beta in November.  Sounds more like democratizing The Sartorialist to us, with the idea of turning anyone with a smartphone into a style spotter. Read More

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Chloe+Isabel Raise $8.5 Million Series A Led By General Catalyst

Chloe + Isabel

Jewlery design and sales startup Chloe and Isabel has just raised a healthy $8.5 million Series A round led by General Catalyst.

This round follows on a  $3.25 million in a seed round which the company raised just this January. That round was led by First Round Capital, Floodgate Fund, and angel investors including SV Angel Ron Conway, Founder Collectives’ Caterina Fake, Felicis Ventures’ Aydin Senkut, The Consigliere’s Mike Duda, Forerunner Ventures’ Kirsten Green, and Ashton Kutcher.

“We’ve been reading a lot about the series A crunch, so it was  exciting to share the good news,” Lindsay Kaplan, their marketing director, told Betabeat by phone. Read More