With no signs of slowing in its rampant growth, Facebook’s valuation continues to balloon.
According to Sunday’s report in the New York Times, Facebook has just raised an additional $500 million from both Goldman Sachs and Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies.
All told, Facebook’s current valuation now stands at a staggering $50 billion.
As a result of the latest round of investments, Facebook is now worth more than eBay, Yahoo and Time Warner.
The investment by Goldman Sachs, however, is significant not only in terms of the massive capital ($450 million) that the company is pouring into Facebook but also because of the symbolism behind the stake.
The stake by Goldman Sachs, considered one of Wall Street’s savviest investors, signals the increasing might of Facebook, which has already been bearing down on giants like Google.
Despite not being a public company – at least not yet – Facebook is said to have a full slate of ambitious goals for 2011, a situation to be aided greatly by the $500 million investment, money that will enable Facebook to build upon its workforce, develop new products, and possibly even pursue acquisitions. The New York Times report even suggests that the new investment may allow earlier shareholders, including Facebook employees, “to cash out at least some of their stakes.”
Although Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has publicly shrugged off notions of Facebook going public, the company’s board has repeatedly indicated an inclination toward an initial public offering sometime in 2012.
According to Chris Sacca, an angel investor in Silicon Valley and a former Google employee and Twitter investor, “When you think back to the early days of Google, they were kind of ignored by Wall Street investors, until it was time to go public. ”
“This time, ” Sacca tells the New York Times, “the Street is smartening up. They realize there are true growth businesses out here. Facebook has become a real business, and investors are coming out here and saying, ‘We want a piece of it.’”