Facebook board member Marc Andreessen said in a Reuters interview that the social networking site is presently on track to make $500 million dollars in 2009. The Netscape founder and Obama-campaign folk hero believes that Facebook will be making billions in yearly revenue within the next five years. “If they pushed the throttle forward on monetization they would be doing more than a billion this year," Andreessen said. "There’s every reason to expect in my view that the thing can be doing billions in revenue five years from now.” While the Palo Alto-based company doesn’t disclose revenue, it says it expects 70-percent growth this year.
Last week, Silicon Alley Insider broke down Facebook’s financials, based on information given by inside sources.
The site lists Facebook’s revenue streams accordingly: $125 million from brand ads, $150 million from Facebook's ad deal with Microsoft, $75 million from virtual goods and $200 million from self-service ads. These total $550 million, slightly higher than Andreessen’s valuation.
In May, Facebook got a $200-million investment from the Russian firm Digital Sky Technologies, which was slightly less than 2 percent of the social network’s $10 billion valuation.
Last week Techcrunch countered this valuation, reporting that Facebook’s worth is really between 3.1 billion and 6 billion dollars, based on data from SharesPost, a private equity market.
Andreessen also said in the Reuters interview that companies like Facebook and Twitter should not try to monetize too soon, pointing to MySpace’s failure after its acquisition by Fox forced the site to focus on selling advertising rather than developing its platform.