RealTime IT News

More Cash Expected for Twitter

Maybe Twitter CEO Evan Williams' recent remarks about putting revenue at the top of his to-do list this year is starting to unfold.

An unsourced TechCrunch report claimed that the micro-blogging site is gearing up to announce a third round of funding, reportedly about $20 million on the basis of a $250 million valuation.

TechCrunch blogger Michael Arrington claims investment firm IVP Partners has signed on the dotted line in the funding round.

Twitter's co-founder Biz Stone told InternetNews.com it has not announced any new funding and calls to IVP were not returned by press time.

The $250 million figure appears to be about half of what social networking trailblazer Facebook thought Twitter was worth when it came knocking last year to acquire the site. During a panel discussion in early December Williams said talks fell through because the time was not right for the deal.

"I feel very strongly that Twitter has huge potential," he said at the time. "To sell it right now, even at a good price, would be a little disappointing."

During his remarks Williams reiterated his intention to focus on developing a revenue stream in 2009.

If the new investment materializes, he will get a bit more breathing room for that task. The site, for all its increasing popularity, does not appear to have a revenue model.

The Web world is atwitter about Twitter.

Hitwise, an Internet traffic monitoring firm, reported that tweets -- the 140-character short posts by Twitter users -- spiked the week of January 12 likely due to coverage of the U.S. Airways plane that landed in New York's Hudson River. Some of the first posts from the scene came from Twitter users.

Last May Tech blog Gigaom estimated that Twitter had raised about $20 million at the time. The round included investment Bijan Sabet with Spark Capital in Boston and Amazon's Jeff Bezos of Bezos Expeditions in Seattle, according to Twitter's company blog. Existing investors Union Square Ventures and Tokyo-based Digital Garage, which partners with Twitter in Japan, also kicked in money at the time.