Facebook received $25 million in funding for a $525 million pre-money valuation.
Nice work for Mark Zuckerberg, who in February 2004 started Facebook in his college dorm. Back then, he paid $85 a month for three months to get his startup going. Zuckerberg -- who turns all of 22 next month - told me once that if his idea failed, there's always Harvard, a fallback notion that Microsoft Bill Gates turned on its ear in 2004, on a visit to Cambridge, Mass. "I encourage you guys to take time off and do something... 'If Microsoft ever falls through, I'm going back to Harvard,'" Zuckerberg recalled hearing Gates say. Looks like Zuckerberg isn't going back for a while. No wonder 50% of China's undergraduates received degrees in natural science or engineering vs. 15% in the U.S. (according to Lockheed Martin CEO Robert Stevens' opinion piece in WSJ). All the college students here quit before they get their degrees. For the record, Zuckerberg was a psychology major.
What would you do? 1) Take the $750 million from Viacom, and work on your tan? 2) Take the $25 million for a $550 million valuation from Greylock, and work on building the business to create even more value to either sell at a higher price down the road, or... dare I say, go public!?!? (If you want to watch Mark, click onto startup interviews.)