Pinterest, one of Silicon Valley's hottest startups, just added more cash to its war chest, increasing speculation about its plans to go public.
The company has raised $150 million from existing investors, valuing it at $12.3 billion, a Pinterest spokesperson said. That's up from the $11 billion valuation it had in 2015. Investors paid the same price per share as two years ago, but the valuation increased because additional shares have been issued, the spokesperson added. The identities of the latest round of investors were not revealed, but previous investors include Andreesen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and Fidelity.
Pinterest said it will use the cash raised to fund its visual search technology and global expansion priorities, as it looks to attract more users outside the U.S. and delves further into the augmented reality space, primarily through its Lens product.
Some believe Pinterest's latest funding round means the company is delaying its IPO plans, while others say it could be Pinterest's last capital raise before going public. Rohit Kulkarni, managing director at private securities investment firm SharesPost, thinks the modest $150 million investment signals that Pinterest could be getting closer to profitability -- a welcome detail when paired against other IPO hopefuls such as Blue Apron and Spotify that are still deep in the red. Snap (SNAP) , which went public in March, also remains unprofitable.
"Pinterest is still probably two years out from an IPO," Kulkarni said. "But if it is profitable and they're able to grow revenues at a premium rate of about 40%, my guess is that would imply a pretty big valuation for Pinterest."
The company is reportedly targeting as much as $600 million in revenue this year, marking a major increase from when it brought in $100 million in 2015. Twitter (TWTR) by comparison, had $317 million in revenue in 2012, one year before it went public.