Ning, a startup that lets users create their own social networks, has raised $15 million in a fifth round of venture funding. The news was first reported in BoomTown, and a Ning spokeswoman confirmed the story.
The round, which comes from Lightspeed Venture Partners, doesn’t seem that big, compared to the $119 million that Ning has raised in all. On the other hand, Ning’s new $750 million valuation is very substantial indeed and runs counter to the conventional wisdom that VCs are forcing startups to accept lower valuations. Instead, it’s enough to make you long for those innocent days back in 2008, when we wondered if a $170 million valuation was rather high.
The Palo Alto, Calif., company said in April that its users had created more than 1 million social networks, about 200,000 of which were still active. The company makes money through a $55 premium service and advertising; BoomTown says Ning’s also developing its own advertising platform (it currently uses Google).
Ning last raised $60 million at a $500 million valuation more than a year ago.