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Zuckerberg: Funding for Facebook? Thanks but No Thanks


Mr. Zuckerberg

At the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco last week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg dismissed reports that social network Facebook is strapped for cash, and possibly seeking venture capital funding in Dubai.

He also took issue with speculators that claim Facebook has no business plan. "One of the things I've also said is that, while we're doing this and growth is our top priority, we're not as focused on optimizing revenue," he said.

"Some people have taken that to mean we don't have a revenue strategy or we're not building anything like that at all."

Facebook, he added, has two solvent revenue streams: brand sales (advertising) and online sales (virtual merchandise).

Earlier this year, Zuckerberg discussed 2007 earnings and 2008 outlook on an open call to employees, projecting EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) at $50 million — leaving Facebook with a negative cashflow of $150 million by 2008's end.

"But who's counting? Zuckerberg apparently said he did not care about maintaining EBITDA anyway," concluded Kara Swisher of All Things Digital, who reported on the call.

Perceptions of Zuckerberg's lax attitude toward profit and loss haven't stopped Facebook from moving forward. In August it absorbed majority ownership of ConnectU, a university-oriented social network that claimed Zuckerberg stole ideas when he worked for the founders in college.

That same month, Aaron Sorkin, creator of shows like The West Wing and films like Charlie Wilson's War, announced plans to write a movie about Facebook's trajectory.

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