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Monday, August 1, 2011

Twitter Preens Itself Over $800 Million Funding Boost

Posted By on Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 2:10 PM

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Twitter has good reason to be chirpy today -- the company just received an estimated $800 million in funding, raising its value to $8 billion. The funding came from both old investors and new investor Digital Sky Technologies, a prominent investment company run by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner that has stakes in Facebook, Zynga, and Groupon.

Twitter did not announce the exact amount of funding, saying only that it was "significant." But All Things D reported that funding totalled $800 million, with $400 million used to cash out current investors and employees.

While Twitter seems to be in no rush to go public, it has already received generous funding from prominent investors. Prior to this round of funding, Twitter received $200 million from Kleiner Perks, which boosted the company value to $32.7 billion last December.

Twitter promises to use this latest funding to "aggressively innovate, hire more great people, and invest in international expansion," according to its blog post. Innovation is indeed necessary, as so far Twitter hasn't managed to hit on a particularly lucrative business model.

Currently, most of its revenue comes through an advertising platform of "promoted tweets," which displays ads in users' feeds or keyword searches. That garners about $150 million a year, a modest amount compared to similarly sized web companies.

Nonetheless, Twitter is continuing to grow at a steady pace, with more than 200 million tweets sent per day and around 175 million users. In the last year, its staff has also more than doubled, growing from 250 to 600 employees.

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Caroline Chen


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