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Pinterest gets $100m cash injection

Pinterest is about to get a massive cash boost as it looks to expand its international presence.

Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten announced that it would be investing US$100-million into the current belle of the social media ball.

In a press release, Rakuten said it would partner with Pinterest in growing the social network in 17 of the markets it is most active in.

Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Siberman said that teaming up with the ecommerce giant would help it “move a step closer” to achieving its goal of helping “people discover things they love, by connecting people through their shared interests”.

Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani meanwhile drew parallels between Pinterest’s style of operating and his own company’s understanding of ecommerce:

“While some may see e-commerce as a straightforward vending machine-like experience, we believe it is a living process where both retailers and consumers can communicate, discover, and curate to make the experience more entertaining. We see tremendous synergies between Pinterest’s vision and Rakuten’s model for e-commerce. Rakuten looks forward to introducing Pinterest to the Japanese market as well as other markets around the world.”

Rakuten is one of the world’s largest ecommerce operators and has been around since 1997. Its flagship B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer) model ecommerce site Rakuten Ichiba is the largest in Japan. It also owns a host of properties around the world.

Pinterest’s traffic has grown immensely in the last few months and it has become a bigger referer of traffic than Twitter. Although it was initially very much about people just putting up pictures of things they liked, new uses for it are being found all the time, including as a tool for recruitment.