Path said to be seeking valuation of $1 billion

After a rough start, the private social network looks to be riding a recent growth spurt to a substantial round of funding.

Path CEO Dave Morin James Martin/CNET

Private social network Path is said to be going after a $1 billion valuation with its latest fund-raise.

The nearly 3-year-old startup is looking to raise between $75 million and $100 million and enter the $1 billion club, according to TechCrunch, which reported that investors are seeking out the San Francisco-based company because of its recent growth spurt. To date, the company has raised more than $41 million.

When reached for comment, a Path spokesperson said the company had nothing to share at this time.

In April, Path surpassed 10 million registered users following the release of a reworked application with messaging and sticker packs for purchase. Weeks later, the company cemented a deal to come preloaded on Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, and Torque devices.

The company, though now a fixture as a top free app on Apple's App Store, initially got off to a rough start. Path has always focused on being a private place for people to connect with close friends -- no more than 150 -- but the first version of the application, released in 2010, was primarily just a photo-sharing service, and it didn't get much initial pickup outside of tech circles. Path was also at the center of a privacy scandal for collecting and storing data from users' address books without permission. The matter concluded with the company paying an $800,000 fine to the Federal Trade Commission.

Should Path, which now counts more than 12 million registered users, reach the lofty valuation, the small company would be catapulted into the high-stakes club of billion-dollar-plus businesses, a growing group that includes Pinterest, Dropbox, Evernote, Airbnb, and Spotify.

And in the world of mergers and acquisitions, the $1 billion figure is a popular one in tech as larger and older firms spend with reckless abandon to buy the next big thing in digital. Last year, Instagram sold to Facebook in a deal that was originally valued at $1 billion. More recently, Yahoo purchased Tumblr for $1.1 billion and Google just snatched up GPS app Waze for reportedly more than $1 billion.

 

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