From Russia with Love: Facebook Lands $200 Million From Russian Investors

Here’s the top of my BusinessWeek story about Facebook’s big new financing round based on brief yet exclusive interviews with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and investor-of-the-moment, Russia’s Yuri Milner.

From Russia With Love: Facebook Lands $200 Million
The social networking site will tap Digital Sky Technologies for expansion funds in a deal valuing Facebook at $10 billion. Still no public issue

Ending months of fevered speculation over whether it would raise more money, social network Facebook said on May 26 that it will take a $200 million investment from Russia’s Digital Sky Technologies.

In return, DST is getting preferred stock worth 1.96% of Facebook, valuing the social network at $10 billion. This is the first time Facebook has raised major equity funding since late 2007, when Microsoft (MSFT) invested $240 million in exchange for a 1.6% stake that valued the site at $15 billion.

In a move that will help Facebook employees unlock some of the value of their shares before the company goes public or is sold, DST will purchase at least $100 million of Facebook common stock from current or former Facebook employees. DST co-founder Yuri Milner tells BusinessWeek that the agreement to buy common stock was not a precondition of the equity investment. “These are two separate transactions,” Milner says in an interview. DST and Facebook say they will release details of the plan this summer.

Read the rest of the story here.

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