Twitter considers raising over US$100 million

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Twitter considers raising over US$100 million

Rumours aired by blogger.

Microblogging service Twitter is considering raising funding that would value the company at US$3 billion, according to a popular technology blog.

Russian technology investment firm DST Global is seeking to lead the funding round, which would be larger than the US$100 million that Twitter raised in September 2009, according to a report on Wednesday on the blog TechCrunch.

The report said that other investors are also eager to be involved.

San Francisco-based Twitter has 175 million users and is one of the most popular Internet social networking services.

The company, which allows its users to broadcast short, 140-character messages, or Tweets, to groups of "followers," has only recently started efforts to generate revenue through special ads that appear in certain parts of its service.

Twitter was not immediately available for comment.

Last year Twitter raised US$100 million, valuing the company at US$1 billion, from investors including Insight Venture Partners, Spark Capital and mutual fund giant T. Rowe Price.

An investment in Twitter would add to DST's impressive portfolio of social networking companies, which currently includes Facebook, the world's No. 1 social network; Zynga; and Groupon.

DST Chairman Yuri Milner acknowledged that Twitter was among the 25 to 30 companies that would fit his firm's investing strategy during an on-stage interview at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, though he declined to comment specifically on whether DST was talking to Twitter about a deal.

Milner said that DST invests in companies that typically have a $1 billion-dollar plus valuation, are in the "social Internet space," and can be located anywhere in the world.

"My guess is there are probably 25 to 30 companies like that," he said.

He also noted that about 80 percent of the volume of DST's investments is made through buying shares of a company on the secondary markets, rather than through direct investments.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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