Pinterest Startup Story


This startup story features Ben Silberman, who went from tinkering with iPhone apps to building one of the most popular websites on the internet at the age of 27.

Pinterest Stats:

  • Founder of Pinterest: Ben Silbermann
  • Age at Founding: 27
  • Founded In: 2010
  • Industry: Internet, Photo Sharing
  • Valuation: $7.7 Billion (Forbes)
  • # of Employees: 140
  • Famous For: Being an online Pinboard for sharing photos.

How Pinterest Got Started

Started designing his own iPhone apps with a college friend and then went on to work at Google in the sales organization. In this interview with Startup Grind, Silbermann discusses the early days of Pinterest.


Since its inception, it has developed into a well-funded site financially supported by a group of successful entrepreneurs and investors including FirstMark Capital, Jack Abraham (Milo), Michael Birch (Bebo), Scott Belsky (Behance), Shana Fisher (Highline Venture Partners), Ron Conway (SV Angel), Kevin Hartz (EventBrite), Jeremy Stoppelman (Yelp), Hank Vigil, Fritz Lanman, and Brian S. Cohen

Follow on Funding:

  • 2011: The company secured a $10 million Series A financing led by Jeremy Levine and Sarah Tavel of Bessemer Venture Partners (Tavel later joined Pinterest).
  • 2011: October, the company secured $27 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, which valued the company at $200 million.

Ben Silbermann Startup Advice

“Don’t take too much advice….Most people generalize whatever they did, and say that was the strategy that made it work…In reality, there’s very little way of knowing how various factors contributed to success or failure”.

Here, Ben offers additional startup advice during Stanford’s Startup School:

Interesting Pinterest Facts:

  • Pinterest generates over 400% more revenue per click as Twitter and 27% more than Facebook.
  • 79% of Pinterest users are Women.
  • 25% of Fortune Global 100 companies have Pinterest accounts.
  • As of May 2012, Pinterest referrals account for 17% of social media driven revenue on Shopify.
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