If you thought Groupon's $950 million was big, hold on to your hats. Facebook has announced that it has raised $1.5 billion in funding at a $50 billion valuation.
According to the release, the company has received $1 billion from Goldman Sachs Overseas Offering today, which, when combined with the previous $500 million, equals the $1.5 billion investment. Read on for details and a Facebook-led Q&A on the deal.
"Our business continues to perform well, and we are pleased to be able to bolster our cash position with this new financing," said David Ebersman, Facebook's chief financial officer, in the company's release. "With this investment completed, we now have greater financial flexibility to explore whatever opportunities lie ahead."
The release also tries to answer a number of frequently asked questions regarding the investment, which are included below:
Why did Facebook raise this money?
DST and Goldman Sachs approached Facebook to express their interest in making an investment, and Facebook decided it was an attractive opportunity to bolster its cash reserves and increase its financial flexibility with limited dilution to existing shareholders.
Why did Facebook choose to raise $1 billion in the overseas offering?
Under the transaction's terms, Facebook had the option to accept between $375 million and $1.5 billion from the Goldman Sachs overseas offering, at the discretion of Facebook. While the offering was oversubscribed, Facebook made a business decision to limit the offering to $1 billion.
What are Facebook's plans for the proceeds of this transaction?
There are no immediate plans for these funds. Facebook will continue investing to build and expand its operations.
Does this investment mean that Facebook will have more than 500 shareholders?
Even before the investment from Goldman Sachs, Facebook had expected to pass 500 shareholders at some point in 2011, and therefore expects to start filing public financial reports no later than April 30, 2012.
When it was announced that Facebook raised $500 million earlier this month, ReadWriteWeb's Marshall Kirkpatrick took a look at the deal and offered "4 Key Take-Aways from Goldman's Huge Facebook Investment". They still hold true and offer some perspective on what $1.5 billion for Facebook really means.