Facebook Seeks Small Fortune To Make A Big One

[qi:018] Normally a company that is on track to bring in about $150 million in sales this year doesn’t need to go out and raise more money from investors. But Facebook isn’t a normal company, and Silicon Valley isn’t a normal place.
Kara Swisher over at All Things D reports that the company is contemplating raising a lot of money to fatten its war chest, as it fights off everyone from MySpace to Google, keep expanding and even keep acquiring smaller players.
Given the torrid pace of growth the Palo Alto-based company has achieved since it launched its platform (over 40 million members) and the hype around it increasing by the day, raising new money would be easy. And as Swisher reports, it wouldn’t cost them a leg-and-an-arm.
Facebook’s existing investors such as Accel Partners, The Founders Fund and Greylock have deep enough pockets to fund the company themselves, but there is enough money floating around what is being perceived as the hottest company since Google.
The company has raised about $32 million so far and is reported to have a valuation of around $525 million. Peter Thiel of The Founders Fund, one of company’s biggest champions (and early investors) was quoted in the media as saying $10 billion valuation would get his attention. Even if you discount these valuation numbers by half, Facebook can still get a lot of money by offering a tiny piece of Facebook heaven.

“If Facebook can do this without significant dilution, it’s a great deal for the venture investors,” said one person familiar with Facebook. “And it could give Facebook a lot of flexibility.”