In an ambitious set of financial projections, Pinterest is looking for significant growth in its sales and monthly users, driven at least in part by its continued push into payments and eCommerce, according to TechCrunch, which published a set of leaked documents on Friday (Oct. 16).
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Amid the numbers in the documents that had been used by Andreessen Horowitz to solicit investments in Pinterest through a special fund, Pinterest forecast $169 million in revenue in 2015 and as much as $2.8 billion in annual top line in 2018. That comes in tandem with a monthly active user base of 329 million users three years out, up from 151 million by the end of this year.
The Andreessen fund has valued Pinterest at $11 billion, according to TechCrunch, after having raised about $1.3 billion from investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners, SV Angel and Rakuten. In the documents, Pinterest is noted as “striving to build a platform with the scale and engagement of Facebook and the purchasing intent of Google."
In an extrapolation of fourth quarter 2014 results, the social media company’s “revenue run rate” was about $90 million, which means that, since the company’s “Promoted Pins” only debuted late that year, the company actually had less than $25 million in sales for the entire year.
The Promoted Pins feature, as TechCrunch noted, lets users “casually browse” for items that catch their fancy and also build brand awareness. The marketers themselves can be charged based on levels of user engagement, such as “re-pins.” There are also variations on pins geared toward video. Most recently, Pinterest introduced Buyable Pins, which allow users to buy items directly through the site (and help push Promotional Pin buying).
Other data from the Andreessen documents show that the company generates $1.44 per active user, a number that it projects will grow to as much as $9.34 by 2018. And Pinterest, with a partnership in place with Target, remains in discussions with retailers such as Burberry and Nordstrom about eCommerce initiatives.
Drilling down a bit in terms of demographics, the leaked information shows that half of U.S. women between the ages of 18–54 are signed up on Pinterest, and overall growth across its user base has taken place outside of the United States. International growth accounts for 60 percent of all new users, driven by gains in Japan, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.