Facebook valued at $10bn in Russian investment deal

Facebook has been valued at $10bn by Russian internet investment group Digital Sky Technologies (DST), which has bought a 1.96% stake in the social networking firm for $200m.

Facebook has been valued at $10bn by Russian internet investment group Digital Sky Technologies (DST), which has bought a 1.96% stake in the social networking firm for $200m.

The valuation is down by a third since Microsoft invested $240m 18 months ago at Facebook's peak, but in the same time Google's shares have fallen 50% below their peak.

Facebook insists is it is not in need of cash and that DST initiated the deal after an introduction by one of its backers, Goldman Sachs, according to the Financial Times.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook chief executive, said yesterday that Facebook had been profitable for five quarters and was expecting revenue growth of 70% this year.

Analysts, however, have noted that Facebook has accepted the highest valuation on offer, prompting speculation that the company is keen to have a buffer against the cost of expansion.

As long as Facebook grows, it will need additional capital to build capacity for additional activity on the site, analysts said.

The partnering with DST is also thought to be strategic for Facebook's growth in Russia because of DST's government connections and experience in making money through social networking sites.

Along with accelerated expansion in Russia, Facebook's partnership with DST could soon see the introduction of alternative sources of revenue to boost its income from advertising.

Picture from Rex Features.

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