Facebook valued at $50 billion after cash injection


Facebook has been given a value of $50 billion (32 billion) following a reportedly substantial investment from Goldman Sachs and a Russian firm.

The Wall Street bank and Digital Sky Technologies (DST), which is already a Facebook shareholder, have injected $500 million into the social networking behemoth, the New York Times reported, citing sources involved in the deal.

None of the companies reportedly involved in the deal have commented on any potential agreement.

The money will help Facebook hire top employees, create new products and may lead to future acquisitions, the paper suggested, whilst Facebook workers could cash in some of their stakes.

One Facebook shareholder is Microsoft, which bought just under two per cent of the social networking site for $240 million back in 2007.

If the new $50 billion valuation is correct, Facebook is now worth more than internet giants such as eBay and Time Warner.

The move comes amidst rumours Mark Zuckerberg's firm is planning a possible initial public offering (IPO) next year.

Thus far Zuckerberg has appeared unwilling to initiate an IPO but rumblings from within Facebook have signalled a flotation move could be considered in 2012.

Facebook has fast become one of the most powerful forces on the internet, having racked up 500 million users since its inception in 2004.

The company makes most of its money through various forms of advertising, including engagement ads and Microsoft marketing efforts.

Virtual goods, such as Facebook gifts, are also responsible for bringing in a fair amount of money.

The site kept the crown of most searched-for term in 2010, having achieved the same accolade in 2009, according to figures from Experian Hitwise.

Over two per cent of all searches were for Facebook last year and four variations of the term facebook' were in the top 10 terms list.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.