Twitter Won’t Sell, But It Will Take More Funding


twitter_smallADOTAS – Twitter isn’t ready to sell itself for $4 billion or even $5 billion, cofounder Biz Stone boasted the other day (no one knew how much Stoli he’d downed first), but the tech media gossip circus is reporting that the microblogger is game for more funding.

Stone’s answer to a question from TechEye at the Silocon Valley Invades Oxford event last week appeared to reference a report that Google floated a $2.5 billion offer a while ago, which the microblogger apparently scoffed at. A more seductive $4 billion offer came from an unknown party a few months ago (possibly someone going by the alias Zark Muckerberg?), but that too was rejected.

Now just ’cause it turned down those offer doesn’t mean Twitter isn’t interested in more funding — sources tell All Things D’s Liz Gannes that the microblogger has three likely suitors attempting to elbow their way in. While big venture players Kleiner Perkins and Netscape founder Andreessen Horowitz are angling for a stake, DST Global’s offer seems the sweetest — a $100 million investment at a $4 billion valuation. Just last year a $1 billion valuation unleashed “WTF?”s across the tech mediascape — then again, a lot has changed in a year.

The fall redesign was nothing short of impressive and its advertising efforts, only launched in April, appear to be gaining momentum, with numerous big names (Starbucks, Coca-Cola) diving in head-first. That’s right — Twitter’s actually bringing in revenue now. Though some of its initiatives have spurned indie developers — including the acquisition and rebranding of mobile app Tweetie, the OAuth takeover and an internal link-shortener — they haven’t had a negative effect on advertisers or users.

In addition, Twitter made its revenue intentions well-known with the hiring of Fox Audience Network head and cofounder Adam Bain as its vice president of revenue. The CEO switch from Evan Williams to Dick Costolo, formerly the creator of Feedburner, was also seen by many as a shift in focus to driving revenue.

It may be in Google’s best interest to buy the microblogger to get a leg up on burgeoning arch rival Facebook, or for Facebook to buy Twitter to edge out Google in the social space, but neither deal is really in Twitter’s interest. It would seem Twitter has a lot more room to run as an independent company — and some more funding would certainly keep it rollin’.


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