A recent private-market transaction on SharesPost, an online marketplace for private investments, has given Facebook a valuation of $80 billion. The auction consisted of 100,000 shares of Facebook Class B Common Stock priced at $32.00 apiece, according to an email SharesPost sent to All Facebook:
We would like to inform you that SharesPost's affiliated broker-dealer completed its auction of 100,000 shares of the Class B Common Stock of Facebook, Inc. on April 13th. The response of the SharesPost community to the auction was substantial and the auction was significantly oversubscribed. A clearing price of $32.00 was established at the auction. Members submitting Qualifying Bids at or above the clearing price will be contacted shortly with instructions on next steps for completing this transaction.
Because Facebook is not a public company yet, valuations are currently based off purchases and sales of shares on sites that allow trading of private companies, such as SharesPost. As a result, the valuations are always quite mind boggling.
Last month, Facebook was valued at $65 billion, when investment firm General Atlantic reportedly bought 0.1 percent of Facebook by purchasing roughly 2.5 million Facebook shares from former Facebook employees.
Two months ago, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) invested $38 million in Facebook as part of its $750 million digital growth fund. The investment was only worth 0.00073 percent of the social network, but it still resulted in a valuation of $52 billion.
All these valuations should be compared to $50 billion, because this is the only number that Facebook officially confirmed. Three months ago, the company announced that it had raised $1.5 billion at a valuation of approximately $50 billion, but that it had no immediate plans for the funds and would simply continue to build and expand its operations.
The transaction consisted of two parts: in January 2011, Goldman Sachs completed an oversubscribed offering to its non-US clients in a fund that invested $1 billion in Facebook Class A common stock, while in December 2010, Digital Sky Technologies, The Goldman Sachs Group, and funds managed by Goldman Sachs, invested $500 million in Facebook Class A common stock at the same valuation.