Facebook has sold about $6.6 million worth of its shares to the investment fund GSV Capital Corp. as the company is believed to be preparing for an initial public offering next year.
GSV announced that it had purchased 225,000 shares in the world's most popular social network on Monday morning, at an average price of $29.28 a share. The investment makes up about 15 percent of the publicly traded fund's total portfolio.
"Facebook is a one-of-a-kind business which has created enormous network effects," said Michael T. Moe, GSV's founder and CEO. "With over 650 million people on its platform, or approximately 1/10 of the world's population, Facebook has established itself as a next-generation social communications platform."
GSV, which itself went public earlier this year, is known for investing in privately held companies. On its website, it describes itself as a way for its investors to access "dynamic and rapidly growing" companies ahead of their IPOs.
The investment fund did not say how large its stake in Facebook is, compared with the company's overall ownership, and did not offer clues to the Palo Alto, Calif.-based social network's overall valuation.
Facebook officials were unavailable for comment about the investment.
A $500 million investment into Facebook by Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies in January valued the company at $50 billion, though some anticipate the IPO will push the company to a valuation of as much as $100 billion.
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