More good news for Zuckerberg
Facebook has received around $500 million (£320 million) of investment in a deal putting its total worth at £32 billion. Between £240 and £290 million came from investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, with an additional £38-48 million coming from early Facebook investor Digital Sky Technologies. This Russian firm, which also has stakes in Zynga and Groupon, has long-standing ties with Goldman Sachs according to the Forbes blog.
The terms of the deal are still unclear, but according to the New York Times both firms have pledged to raise more money for Facebook from private investors. It also means the social network has reached a value of £32 billion. This puts the social media site ahead of eBay and Yahoo, but well behind Google (£122 billion) and Apple (£193 billion).
Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg owns 25 per cent of Facebook; under the new valuation, his fortune could reach as much as £8 billion. This would put him at number 43 in the Forbes rich list, compared to number 212 in March 2010.
The move to secure more investment has fuelled fresh rumours that Zuckerberg may be about to float his share of the company. According to the New York Times, "people involved in the fund-raising effort suggest that Facebook's board has indicated an intention to consider a public offering in 2012". However, companies including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Zynga are currently not really 'public', as stocks are trading in private markets; as a result, US regulatory body the Security and Exchange Commission is about to launch an inquiry into this practice.