Clubhouse flirts with $4bn valuation in Twitter and investor talks

8 Apr 2021195 Views

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The audio app reportedly held acquisition talks with Twitter but is now said to be speaking with investors on closing a new round of funding.

While rolling out its own drop-in audio features, Twitter reportedly approached Clubhouse about an acquisition potentially valued at $4bn.

Bloomberg reported that Twitter held talks with the burgeoning audio app in recent months but the discussions ultimately led nowhere.

The possible acquisition talks provide some insight into Twitter’s interest in the audio space. Around the time that these talks were taking place, Clubhouse was gathering steam and Twitter was setting up Spaces, its own set of features for live audio discussions.

The $4bn figure matches up with another report from Bloomberg earlier in the week, which said that Clubhouse was raising more funds from investors at a $4bn valuation.

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The start-up is already reportedly valued at $1bn following its most recent fundraising earlier this year, with backers including Andreessen Horowitz.

Clubhouse has exploded in popularity of late and is now looking to scale and attract more users. But it faces a great deal of competition from its former suitor Twitter as well as a slew of other companies that are launching rival audio products or have something in the works.

Facebook began testing a product this week called Hotline that borrows a few cues from Clubhouse and allows users to hold live Q&A sessions with other users.

As part of its efforts to keep users flocking back to its app, Clubhouse has now added payments features that allow creators to be paid. The company is using Stripe to process the payments and said that creators will get 100pc of the funds and Clubhouse won’t take a cut.

Twitter is also looking at ways to monetise Spaces, according to Bruce Falck, the company’s head product revenue, who made the remarks at a recent press event. These efforts are at the early stages but fit into the company’s wider strategy of introducing subscriptions and user payments.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin

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