Facebook has confirmed, Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies, based in London and Moscow, has paid $200 million for a 1.96% stake in the largest social networking site, giving Facebook a $10 billion valuation.
From Reuters: Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement that a number of firms had approached Facebook, but Digital Sky stood out “because of the global perspective they bring – backed up by the impressive growth and financial achievements of their Internet investments.”
In recent months, Facebook has held discussions with several groups interested in investing in the company.
Digital Sky won because its founders Yuri Milner and Gregory Finger have strong experience running Internet properties in Eastern Europe and Russia, and “a deep, advanced understanding” of social networking technology, Zuckerberg said.
“Ultimately (it was) this deal and my comfort with Yuri and the team,” said Zuckerberg.
Digital Sky Technologies said that it is also planning buy at least $100 million of Facebook common stock from existing common stockholders, however, the firm will not be represented on the Facebook board or hold special observer rights.
The new acquisition follows much debate over Facebook’s true valuation. In October 2007, Microsoft paid $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in the company, giving it at the time a $15 billion valuation.