December 16, 2010

Twitter Valued At $3.7 Billion

Less than a year after Twitter began making its first efforts to make money, it announced that it had raised $200 million in a financing deal that values the microblogging service at $3.7 billion.

The investment came from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and investors, said Twitter. It said in a post on its corporate blog Wednesday that the money will help the company grow, but would not elaborate and offer any specifics of the investment.

Twitter, which has more than 175 million members worldwide, is among the new crop of quickly growing Internet social networking services. It belongs to an elite list of hugely popular social networks which include Facebook and Zynga.

Twitter hired FlipBoard Chief Executive Mike McCue and DoubleClick CEO David Rosenblatt as board members. The moves come two months after the company handed the job of CEO to Dick Costolo, the architect of its new advertising plans, a sign that making money is a priority for the microblogging service.

Costolo told Reuters in May that Twitter planned to have numerous advertisers using its ad system by the end of the year. He said the company's previous valuation of $1 billion meant that Twitter needed to develop a business that is capable of generating hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue.

Tech blog AllThingsDigital first reported the $200 billion funding round. It said that Kleiner Perkins beat out Russian investment firm DST Global. A spokesman for Twitter confirmed that the figures were accurate.

Twitter is one of the Web's most popular social networks, and is challenging established Web services like Google and Yahoo.

Investors are watching the service closely, hoping one day to buy public shares of the company.


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