A NEW round of funding is set to value microblogging site Twitter at a staggering $8bn (£4.9bn).
It is understood Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies (DST) will take a stake of around $400m, with another $400m being split between other investors.
US fund manager T Rowe Price will invest up to $90m in the company, according to Sky News, consolidating its current holding. JP Morgan’s Digital Growth Fund could also take part in the investment round. In February it emerged Google and Facebook were involved in “very speculative” talks to buy Twitter for between $8-10bn. A round of financing just weeks before had valued it at $3.7bn.
The fundraising makes it increasingly unlikely that Twitter will seek to float in the short term, bucking the trend for bumper dotcom initial public offerings from the likes of LinkedIn.
DST has invested heavily in sought-after internet firms. In February it invested $100m in Spotify, valuing it at $1bn.
It also has a stake of more than $1bn in Facebook, a sizeable chunk in online gaming site Zynga and a holding in voucher-buying site Groupon.
Twitter has become the most talked-about site on the internet, playing an important role in the closure of the News of the World. It was also at the heart of the super-injunction debate, with its users using it as a platform to break court orders taken out by celebrities including Ryan Giggs. There are now in excess of 100m “Tweets” of up to 140 characters posted each day and Twitter is reported to have advertising revenues of well over $100m.
Both Twitter and T Rowe Price were unavailable for comment last night.