Friday 20 April 2018

Twitter: Who gets rich? Founders and investors with the lion's share

Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal is quids in
Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal is quids in
Noah Glass is not quids in


HERE is a list of the number of shares owned by some of the people and investment firms that will benefit most from the IPO.

Evan Williams 56,909,847 shares (12 per cent)

(Value: €1.93bn)

Williams was Twitter's CEO until 2010, when current CEO Dick Costolo took the helm. He is now working on a publishing platform medium, dedicated to long-form content.

Peter Fenton 31,568,740 shares, or 6.7 per cent. (Value: €1.07bn)

Fenton led the firm's investment in consumer-internet play Yelp. He holds a board seat at Twitter. Fenton is also a partner at VC firm Benchmark Capital, which also owns a 5 per cent stake.

Jack Dorsey 23,411,350 shares, or 4.9 per cent. (Value €796m)

Dorsey co-founded Twitter and is still chairman. In 2009, he founded payments service Square where he is still serving as its CEO.

Dick Costolo 7,589,608 shares, or 1.6 per cent. (Value €258m)

A one-time improvisational comedian, Costolo took the helm of Twitter in 2010. He joined Twitter as COO the year before, after he and co-founders sold their web feed management provider FeedBurner to Google in 2007.

Adam Bain 1,722,350 shares, or less than 1 per cent. (Value €58.5m)

Bain is the president of global revenue at Twitter. He was formerly the president of audience network at News Corp's Fox Interactive Media.

Peter Currie 291,666 shares, or less that 1 per cent. (Value €9.9m)

Currie sits on the board of directors at Twitter and has been described as as one of the "Silicon Valley wise men".

David Rosenblatt 283,333 shares, or less than 1 per cent. (Value €9.6m)

Rosenblatt is the CEO of luxury online retailer and is a member of Twitter's board of directors.

The following groups own at least 5 per cent:

Rizvi Traverse Management

A closely held Michigan private-equity fund, Rizvi made a name for itself by buying into entertainment companies such as Playboy and movie producer Summit Entertainment. Last year, it led a $200m funding round in Jack Dorsey's payments company, Square.

Spark Capital

Venture firm Spark started investing in Twitter in 2008. For a time, Spark partner Bijan Sabet served on Twitter's board.

Benchmark Capital

An American VC firm responsible for the early stage funding of several successful start-ups. Benchmark went into Twitter in 2009, when it was valued in the $200m to $250m range.

Union Square Ventures

Venture firm Union Square started investing in Twitter in 2008. For a time, USV partner Fred Wilson served on Twitter's board.

DST Global

Investment firm founded by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner led a $400m investment in Twitter in 2011. At the time, Twitter was valued at around $8bn.


Other shareholders include Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, who owns more than 3 per cent, but he is not listed on Twitter's SEC filing.

Biz Stone, another co-founder, is thought to have made millions by selling holdings over the last few years. However, Noah Glass, also one of the originals (see above) is believed to have made very little from the company's success.


Sunday Independent

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