Twitter raises US$200m – valued at US$3.7bn

16 Dec 2010

A bidding war to invest in Twitter has ended with a prominent Silicon Valley firm investing US$200m in the microblogging site in a move that values it at US$3.7bn.

It emerged in recent weeks that Russian firm DST and Silicon Valley investor firm Kleiner Perkins were in a bidding war to invest in Twitter.

Last night, it emerged Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is to put US$200m into Twitter, bringing the total amount of venture capital raised by Twitter to US$360m.

The company is to get two new board members – Flipboard’s Mike McCue and ex-DoubleClick CEO David Rosenblatt. It is clear from these appointments that Twitter is trying to strike the perfect balance between technological relevance and monetising via online advertising.

Kleiner Perkins is the only investor in this current round. Other investors in Twitter include Benchmark Capital, Union Square Venture Partners, Spark Capital and various angel investors.

Meaningful growth

In a blog post entitled ‘Meaningful Growth’, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo revealed that in the past 12 months Twitter sent an “astonishing” 25 billion tweets and added more than 100 million accounts. It’s team has grown to 350 people.

“As part of a significant new round of funding with investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and existing investors, we’ve added two new members to Twitter’s board of directors. Please join us in welcoming Mike McCue and David Rosenblatt. The experience these new directors bring to Twitter, along with this renewed investment, will help us continue to grow as a company and business.

“(The year) 2010 was one of the most meaningful years since Twitter, Inc. was founded in 2007. We operate on a principle that people are basically good — when you give them a simple way to express this trait, they prove it to you every day.

“We’re proud of what Twitter users have accomplished, we’re proud of our work, and we’re very proud of our team. Thanks for being a part of this work; it means a lot to us,” Costolo said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years