Facebok has raised more than $800 million over five rounds of funding. With this round, the social network will have raised more than $1.3 billion. The New York Times says that the deal sets the company’s valuation at a whopping $50 billion. Facebook’s worth has fluctuated between $40 billion and $50 billion in the secondary markets for the past few weeks. In September, Facebook was worth between $23 billion and $33 billion and in November it was worth $41 billion.
As part of the deal, Goldman Sachs will help Facebook raise an additional $1.5 billion. To do this, the investment bank will create a “special purpose vehicle” that will allow others to invest in Facebook indirectly. This would help Facebook bypass a S.E.C. regulation that requires companies with more than 499 investors to disclose their financial results to the public.
Goldman Sachs will be a first-time investor in Facebook, while Russian venture capital firm Digital Sky Technologies had previously invested $200 million in the company Mark Zuckerberg built at a $10 billion valuation. According to the NYT report, Goldman Sachs has the option to sell $75 million of its stake to DST.
It’s unclear what Facebook will do with the money. It could cash out some of its employees and existing investors with that money or go on a hiring spree. It has so much money now that it will likely do both.