Pinterest, a social network that has grown faster than anyone -- including its CEO and co-founder -- expected, is leaving its Peninsula roots for San Francisco.
The Silicon Valley startup will move from Palo Alto, Calif., to San Francisco's South of Market area, or SoMa, a hot location for tech firms where its neighbors will include social-gaming company Zynga. The move was announced Monday by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee -- who has made technology companies a focus of his tenure, including securing new offices for Twitter -- and Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann.
"We're pleased to now call one of the world's great cities home," Silbermann said in the news release.
"I am thrilled to welcome Pinterest to the 'Innovation Capital of the World,' and am pleased that our efforts to attract and retain the industry's best and most innovative companies are working," Lee said.
Pinterest, which lets its 20 million-and-counting monthly visitors collect and share digital images and link them to websites, launched in January 2010 and has enjoyed a meteoric rise, becoming the third most-visited social network behind Twitter and Facebook, according to an Experian Marketing Services report earlier this year.
Experian research showed that the site's visitors were demographically different from those visiting other social networks, with women accounting for 60 percent of the visitors and a higher percentage of users in the Midwest, Northwest and Southeast.
Alexa, a Web-analytics company that uses a combination of visitors and pageviews to rank the most popular sites on the Web, said Tuesday that Pinterest was the No. 16 on its list of U.S. websites, also ranking behind LinkedIn for social networks.
Pinterest recently secured $100 million in venture capital from a group led by Japanese online retailer Rakuten, which values the company at near $1.5 billion. Existing Pinterest shareholders Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital joined the round of funding.
The money and growing interest has allowed Pinterest to expand quickly, outgrowing its Palo Alto home -- the company had just 20 employees in March, but listed 31 workers on its website Tuesday. Business Insider, which was the first to report the news late last week, credited that growth with the move, reporting that Pinterest was unable to find sufficient space in popular Palo Alto. Facebook faced the same issue after getting its start in Palo Alto, and it moved to the former Sun Microsystems campus in Menlo Park, Calif.
The actual location of Pinterest's offices were not officially announced, but the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday night that the offices are on Brannan Street near Seventh Street, and that Pinterest signed a short-term lease with an eye on securing more space in the building for a long-term lease.
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