Flipboard is inching ever closer to the billion-dollar club. Today they confirmed they had raised an additional $50 million, bringing their Series C financing total to $100 million. This closes the funding round they announced back in September.

In the same breath, Flipboard is also announcing that it has also surpassed the 100-million-user milestone. One thing that I would like to know here, is that 100 million registered? Or 100 million active? I love Jan Koum’s comment about active vs. registered users:

Comparing total registered users and active users is like comparing Ferrari 250 GTO with a skateboard.

I guessing that Flipboard has gone with registered user number ūüėČ In any case, their valuation was pegged at $800 million, only slightly below the $1 billion that had been rumoured. Their existing investors, which include Goldman Sachs, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, Index Ventures, and Insight Venture Partners, participated in the round.

Product Improvements

Flipboard has definitely been toiling away to give users more tools to build magazine-like feeds of their favourite pieces of content. In March 2013, they launched their magazine feature. And then in July they allowed those magazines to be read and consumed on the web as well as on mobile. Definitely a clever play.

All of that was meant traffic and engagement, which is the basis for advertising. Flipboard is trying to appeal more to brand marketers by creating an experience that users honestly prefer to the paper experience. That in turn translates into comparable advertising rates and revenue.¬†That’s the big strategy that Flipboard is executing on.

Flipboard Catalogs

But when you de-construct¬†advertising, it’s actually fundamentally about driving revenues further down the line – with advertisers themselves. So it was a bit of a no-brainer when Flipboard introduced Catalogs. With the tools in place to allow anyone to sell their products and services from within a great magazine experience they are fundamentally changing the game of advertising. Now that is truly exciting.¬†Flipboard catalogs are meant to evoke a better shopping (or at least browsing experience) than one would find on most e-commerce sites.

In 2014 it is going to be fascinating to see how well the ecommerce part of the business grows. This is by far the biggest potential, behaviour-shifting feature the company has launched to date.

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 To continue getting more advertisers on board, and to keep moving its product forward, Flipboard expects to hire pretty aggressively over the next year. The company has about 100 employees today, according to CTO Eric Feng, and expects that to double to 200 by the end of 2014. Hires will be focused on engineering and adding to its sales team.