Breaking: Facebook Closes $200 Million Investment from Russian Investment Group Digital Sky Technologies

dstOn the heels of rumors of a possible investment this weekend, Facebook has just announced this morning that it has indeed raised a $200 million round of financing from Russian Internet investment firm Digital Sky Technologies. DST will receive 1.96% equity stake in the company in the form of preferred stock at a valuation of $10 billion.

In addition, DST plans to purchase “at least” $100 million of Facebook common stock from existing stockholders that would give current and former employees a chance to cash out some of their vested shares. DST will not get a seat on the Facebook board of directors.

“This investment demonstrates Facebook’s ongoing success at creating a global network for people to share and connect,” says Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.  “We’ve worked hard to bring more than 200 million people – 70 percent outside of the U.S. – onto Facebook to share with friends, family and co-workers.  A number of firms approached us, but DST stood out because of the global perspective they bring – backed up by the impressive growth and financial achievements of their internet investments.  We’re looking forward to working with the DST team.”

DST is a large Internet holding company in Russia and eastern Europe. The company estimates that its portfolio companies, including Mail.ru, Forticom and vKontakte, cover 70% of all page views in the Russian speaking Internet.

yurimilnerDST CEO Yuri Milner was previously CEO of Mail.ru, the most highly-trafficked website in Russia. Milner’s partners are Gregory Finger, previously head of the Moscow office of NCH, a large hedge fund, and Alexander Tamas, previously co-head of internet and software coverage in EMEA for Goldman Sachs.

“Our investment experience in other regions reveals the tremendous value social networking companies create as they redefine how people communicate and interact,” said Yuri Milner, chief executive of DST.  “By every important metric – user growth and engagement, technological innovation and financial performance – Facebook is on a similar trajectory, though on a much more global scale.  We’re delighted to invest in Facebook, Mark and his management team as they make the world more open and connected.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been characterizing recent financing rumors as preliminary in public comments as recently as last week, when he told the Reuters Global Technology Summit, “If there’s an investment to be done on very good terms, we will consider it if for no other reason than to have more buffer if we want to do something in the future.”

The $200 million investment from DST brings Facebook’s total debt and equity financing raised to date to at least $640 million. In addition to the $200 million announced today, Facebook raised $240 million from Microsoft in 2007 as part of a preferred equity investment and strategic alliance that valued the company at $15 billion, $100 million investment from Chinese billionare Li Ka-Shing in early 2008, $100 million loan from TriplePoint in May 2008, and an undisclosed investment by Germany’s Samwer brothers early last year.

Social Media 101

Mediabistro Course

Social Media 101

Get hands-on social media training for beginners in our online boot camp, Social Media 101! Starting September 4, social media and marketing experts will teach you the best practices to be successful on social. Register before July 31 to get $50 OFF with early bird pricing. Register now!

 

Leave a Reply

12 Responses to “Breaking: Facebook Closes $200 Million Investment from Russian Investment Group Digital Sky Technologies”

  1. Breaking: Facebook Closes $200 Million Investment from Russian … | says:

    [...] Originally posted here:  Breaking: Facebook Closes $200 Million Investment from Russian … [...]

  2. Interesting Quotes from Facebook/DST Investment Conference Call says:

    [...] reported this morning, Facebook announced that it has just closed a $200 million investment from Russian investment group [...]

  3. Hiring Signals: Facebook Looking for Someone to Lead Its Payments Initiatives says:

    [...] the conference call this morning discussing DST’s $200 million preferred equity investment in Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that while advertising is currently Facebook’s [...]

  4. Arek says:

    Could all these investors be wrong? FB certainly has large and engaged audience so, there is an opportunity to make a lot of money. The only question is how… As for the rest of us, Russian investment in FB makes an interesting precedence – it puts a value on each unique monthly visitor at $100 a head. I guess, there would be plenty of millionaires around if all investors would be prepared to pay that multiple!

  5. Facebook Payments Alpha Test Now Live in 3 Apps says:

    [...] The financial community would like Facebook to speed up its Platform monetization efforts. Maybe Yuri Milner will be encouarging Facebook to accelerate its virtual currency monetization plans now that his investment firm DST, which has invested in numerous social networks monetizing through virtual currency, owns a $200 million chunk of the company. [...]

  6. Andreessen: Facebook Revenues To Pass $500 Million in 2009, Wouldn’t Sell Shares Yet says:

    [...] month, when Facebook announced its $200 million investment from Yuri Milner and Digital Sky Technologies for 1.96% of the company in the form of preferred [...]

  7. Facebook Investor DST Now Buying Common Stock at $6.5 Billion Valuation says:

    [...] the Facebook leadership team. Less than two months ago, Milner’s Russian investment firm DST invested $200 million for just under 2% of the company in the form of preferred stock, without getting a board seat. Now, [...]

  8. Former Facebook Employees May be Put at the Back of the Line in Stock Sale says:

    [...] months ago, Russian investment firm Digital Skies Technology (DST) invested $200 million dollars into Facebook for a two percent slice of the social networking site in the form of preferred stock, saying at the [...]

  9. Russian Facebook Clone Planning International Expansion: Peculiar Competition to Facebook | Profy | Internet news and commentary says:

    [...] already have some money in common after Digital Sky Technologies (DST), the owner of Vkontakte, invested $200 million in Facebook. Honestly, I have no idea how the two social networks are supposed to compete on the international [...]

  10. Tencent Investment in DST Shows International Confluence of Social Games, Social Networks, and Virtual Goods says:

    [...] bought $200 million worth of Facebook preferred stock last summer at a $10 billion valuation. It followed this by announcing it was purchasing up to $100 [...]

  11. Facebook Valuation: Hope or Hype « Cross-Cultural IMC says:

    [...] While investors waffle how much they are willing to pay for a stake in the company, I wonder how Mark Zuckerberg makes decisions when considering investment offerings. Microsoft purchased its preferred stock at a $15 billion valuation in 2007 and two years later, Facebook sold some preferred stock to Russian investor DST at an implied valuation of $10 billion. [...]

  12. anya says:

    it’s really impressed!

Get the latest news in your inbox
interested in advertising with inside facebook?

Social Media Jobs
of the Day

Opportunities in Digital Publishing

Pew Research Center
Washington, DC

Vice President of Technology

Emerald Media Group
Eugene, OR

Social Media Strategist

ISACA
Rolling Meadows, IL

Social Media Specialist

California Academy of Sciences
San Francisco, CA

Featured Company

Join leading companies like this one and recruit from the nation's top media job seekers on the Mediabistro Job Board. Every job post comes with our satisfaction guarantee. Learn More
 

Our Sponsors

Also from Inside Network:   AppData - Facebook & iOS Application Stats   PageData - Engagement Data on Facebook Pages   Facebook Marketing Bible   Inside Network Research
 
home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | about | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | events | forums | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us