Twitter says it's now valued at $3.7 billion

Latest round of venture funding puts big price tag on microblogging service

Remember a year or two ago when you'd read columns about Twitter in which clueless authors dismissed the microblogging phenomenon as a productivity sinkhole on which users posted messages about "what they had for lunch"? Typically, the writers then would proclaim (often proudly) that they "didn't get" Twitter.

Let's see if they get this: After raising a $200 million round of venture funding, Twitter reportedly is now worth $3.7 billion. According to Bloomberg News, Twitter spokesman Matt Graves provided the valuation figure in an e-mail discussing the new funding round, which was led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The four-year-old, San Francisco-based Twitter now has raised more than $360 million in venture funding. Previous investors include Benchmark Capital, Union Square Ventures, T.Rowe Price Group and Spark Capital. Twitter has grown over the past year to 350 employees from 130. The microblogging service now has 175 million users, up from 25 million in September 2009, when it raised $100 million in funding. At that time, Twitter was valued at $1 billion. Chief executive Dick Costolo also announced in a blog post on Wednesday that Twitter has added two new members to its board of directors -- Mike McCue, CEO of Flipboard, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based "social magazine" start-up; and David Rosenblatt, the former CEO of online ad company DoubleClick, who now is chairman of Group Commerce, an ecommerce site for online publishers. Twitter's board now includes eight members. In addition, Costolo wrote, "Twitter users sent an astonishing 25 billion Tweets" over the past 12 months. That's a lot of lunch-menu revelations.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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