Twitter valued at $1 billion

September 25, 2009 | 10:04

Tags: #microblogging #venture-capital #venture-capitalists

Companies: #twitter

Like it or loathe it, there's no getting away from the fact that Twitter is turning heads in the corporate world - and people appear to be willing to put their money where their 140 character mouths are.

As reported over on Silicon Valley Insider, the popular microblogging site is running another round of funding, and it's looking like a big one: venture capitalists are allegedly looking to pour $100 million (£62.24 million) into the company.

The investment from seven separate venture capitalists values Twitter at a staggering $1 billion (£622.4 million) - not bad for a company which, at its heart, is pretty much just a web-based SMS service and a significant boost on its last round valuation of $225 million (£140 million).

The investment comes at the same time as the launch of an unofficial App Store-inspired service dubbed OneForty. As reported over on AppScout, the service - currently in private beta - features 1,332 (and isn't it a shame they couldn't find five more?) applications built around Twitter's API in categories including Analytics, Games, Browser Plugins, Business, and Automation. Both free and paid applications are available, but there's no mention of how much of a cut Twitter gets of the proceeds - if any.

This is, of course, Twitter's problem: despite its incredible popularity, the service struggles to find a path to profit. With its entire raison d'être being to offer a free, quick communication system it's hard to see precisely how it can turn traffic into cash. With companies increasingly interested in the holy grail of real-time search data - and sitting as it does on possibly the biggest and freshest cache of such information - that could all change very quickly indeed. For now, however, the investors are putting money into a company which - in its own words - "[spends] more money than we make."

Can you see the lure of Twitter that would cause venture capitalists to value the company at $1 billion, or does it just seem like more Web 2.0 hype? Could we be heading for another dot-com bubble? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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