Microblogging site Twitter, is now worth, $8-billion, thanks to a $400-million investment in the loss-making venture from serial social media investor DST Global. The value of the site is now nominally about the same as rating agency Moody's, which grossed revenues of $1.2-billion in the first six months of 2011 and is nearly as valuable as Marks & Spencer.
The huge valuation is an indication of the high expectations for the company. With the confirmation of the investment, Twitter also announced that its users generated around 200-million tweets a day, up from 65-million a year ago.
"One year ago, there were approximately 150, 000 registered Twitter apps. Now, there are more than one million that connect to Twitter. And our team has grown from 250 people to more than 600 in the past 12 months," said the firm in a blog post.
"We have the opportunity to expand Twitter's reach with a significant round of funding led by the venture firm DST Global, with the participation of several of our existing investors," Twitter said. "We will use these resources to aggressively innovate, hire more great people and invest in international expansion."
The new funds would go towards an $800-million corpus the company gears to raise for a potential initial public offering. DST Global, is an investment fund led by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner. Milner also owns stakes in Facebook, online gaming firm Zynga and discount firm Groupon, which all have plans to go public.
Twitter would be using half the money to buy back shares from employees and backers, it is said, while the rest of the money would go towards helping the company develop its service as it competes for advertising dollars with larger rivals such as Facebook.