Pinterest raises $200 million in new funding, company now valued at $2.5 billion

Pinterest has raised a new funding round of $200 million led by Valiant Capital Management, putting the company’s valuation at $2.5 billion, AllThingsD first reported and Pinterest has now confirmed.

The company said it will use the new funding to develop new technology, continue hiring, expand its user base internationally, and make strategic investments. Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital all participated in the round as well.

“Our focus is on helping millions of people discover things they love and get inspiration to go do those things in their life,” said Ben Silbermann, Pinterest co-founder and CEO announced in a statement provided by the company. “This investment gives us more resources to help realize that vision.”

It was reported earlier this month that the company was in funding talks that would raise its valuation above $2 billion. Most recently, Pinterest had raised $100 million in May 2012, putting the company’s valuation at $1.5 billion at the time. The May round was led by Japanese site Rakuten, in addition to Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital.

The company allows users to pin photos to virtual pinboards, collecting them in groups called boards around the web. Pinterest has exploded in recent success, especially with women, and has continued to drive increasing amounts of traffic on the web. CEO Ben Silberman spoke at GigaOM’s Roadmap conference in November, explaining that they didn’t set out to target any specific group in building the site:

“When we built Pinterest, we didn’t build it with a specific demographic in mind,” Silbermann said. “We built it for ourselves.”