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Pinterest Adds $186 Million to Series G Round, Lets Employees Sell Shares

The move is part of the company's broader effort to reconsider staffers' equity benefits.

jtyler via iStock

Pinterest has completed the rest of its Series G funding round, raising an additional $186 million for a total of $553 million. It had previously raised $367 million of that offering, according to a March SEC filing.

Pinterest* told Re/code that the round included new investors Wellington Management Company and Goldman Sachs along with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, SV Angel, Valiant Capital Management and Fidelity Investments.

Along with the funding news, the company said it would be doing a secondary offering for employees whose options had vested by April 30. They will be able to sell “a small portion” of their stock to undisclosed external investors at the $11 billion Series G valuation.

There won’t be any new shares issued, so this won’t dilute the existing stock. The company wouldn’t disclose what percentage of Pinterest’s equity this could represent if all employees sold the amount they’re allowed to.

This is the second time Pinterest has allowed employees to sell their shares, the first being in October 2012.

The move is part of the company’s broader effort to reconsider staffers’ equity benefits. Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp told Re/code, “We’ve focused a lot since the beginning of the year on our relationship with employees and on what role we play in the modern startup environment.” The company is hoping to spur change in the industry by challenging entrenched startup norms about stock for staff.

The secondary offering comes soon after Pinterest decided to extend its equity exercising options for employees. Now if Pinterest workers quit the company, they will have seven years to purchase their stock options.

At most startups, employees are required to buy their stock options within three months of quitting. It puts some workers in a tough position. If they can’t afford to purchase their shares, they have to either give them up, choose not to quit the company, or secure a loan. The effect can keep employees at companies longer.

Pinterest’s decision to change its equity policy could hurt it with employee retention, but Sharp says he thinks it will be the opposite. “We’re trying to build this opt-in culture, and we think this is the way to do it,” Sharp said. “People want to work at a company that has their best interest in mind.”

*Pinterest executive Joanne Bradford is an independent board member of Re/code’s parent company, Revere Digital, and has no involvement in our editorial process.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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