Tuesday 20 February 2018

Twitter seeks investors in funding drive that values firm at $7bn

Jeff Bliss

TWITTER, the microblogging site that lets users post 140-character messages, is raising funding that values the start-up at about $7bn (€4.8bn), it was claimed yesterday.

The San Francisco-based company is said to be in talks with investors to receive hundreds of millions of dollars.

Twitter's worth has almost doubled since December, when it received a $200m investment that valued the firm at $3.7bn.

The start-up was pegged at about $1bn in 2009. SharesPost, an exchange for shares of closely held companies, has now assessed Twitter's worth at $6.8bn.

Twitter is continuing to raise funds from private investors, rather than joining other social-media companies in filing for an initial public offering (IPO).

Professional-networking site LinkedIn went public in May. Since then, Groupon, the biggest daily deal site, and Zynga, the top developer of Facebook games, have both filed for IPOs. A spokesman for Twitter declined to comment.

Advertising sales on Twitter may more than triple to about $150m this year, according to research firm EMarketer. Still, that is dwarfed by the growth of Facebook, which brought in ad revenue of $1.86bn last year, EMarketer estimates.

Co-founder Evan Willams said last October that Twitter aimed to get one billion users.

Twitter revamped its site last September with the aim of being faster, easier to use, and better able to handle photos and videos. The service now features a second column that lets users quickly look at messages without leaving a page.

Last week, however, US authorities reportedly launched an antitrust investigation against the company amid allegations its business practices stifled competition. (Bloomberg)

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