Reports surfaced this week that Facebook's valuation had ballooned to $50 billion. Call it the Moore's Law of Facebook: The world's largest social network's worth jumps or drops a few billion every other week. The dollar value of Facebook's private stock can be expected to double, or halve, or slightly increase, or dramatically plummet, on a day-to-day or month-to-month basis, unrelated to any Facebook product launches, revenue reports, successes or failures, but depending on which blogs suddenly feel the urge to fill in the blank of this provocative yet unverified headline: Is Facebook really worth $X billion?!?
Here we present a brief timeline of Facebook valuations, which shows how the company's worth, especially in the last year, has more ups and downs than the EKG of a Four Loko fiend.
May 2005: Facebook raises $12.7 million in venture capital from Accel Partners, at a rumored valuation of $100 million.
April 2006: Facebook raises $27.5 million from Greylock Partners and Meritech Capital, for a reported $525 million pre-money valuation.
October 2007: Microsoft invests $240 million for a 1.6% stake in Facebook, valuing the company at $15 billion.
May 2009: Digital Sky Technologies invests $200 million for a 1.96% stake, bringing Facebook's value to $10 billion, a drop of more than $5 billion from Microsoft's investment.
January 2010: Offers to buy Facebook's private company stock on SecondMarket place Facebook's valuation at $14 billion.
June 2010: A report by Elevation Partners pegged Facebook's value at $23 billion.
July 2010: A report by Next Up Research pegged Facebook's value at $12 billion.
August 2010: Shareholder trading values Facebook at more than $33 billion.
November 15, 2010: Facebook's worth pegged at $41 billion.
November 19, 2010: Facebook shares sold at a $34 billion valuation.
November 22, 2010: Investors sell portion of stake in Facebook at a price valuing Facebook at $35 billion.
November 30, 2010: Facebook reaches value of $50 billion based on private market transactions.
[Illustration by Andrew Hur]