With Twitter valued at $10B, investors speculate IPO is near

A quick math lesson from Twitter:

  • 140 — characters in a tweet
  • 200 million — daily active tweeters
  • 500 million — tweets sent per day
  • 500 million — Twitter accounts
  • Here’s the big one — $10 billion — Twitter’s estimated value, according to a May 8 investor filing

GSV Capital Corp. valued the San Francisco social media giant at almost $10 billion, up about 10 percent from a previous estimate. The boost in value further raises speculation among eager investors that Twitter’s long-awaited initial public offering is just around the corner.

Twitter is becoming more valuable, with ad revenue projected to near $1 billion by 2014, according to market research firm eMarketer. The company is expanding its mobile presence, where it gets about half of its ad revenue, and Twitter’s new #music service is expected to generate more advertising dollars. The more cash the company makes, the more investors are bracing for a trip to IPO-ville, the coming-of-age tradition for most Silicon Valley tech companies.

According to Bloomberg, in a May 8 filing, GSCV valued its 1.9 million shares of Twitter at $35.2 million, or about $18.50 a share. That puts company’s worth at about $9.8 billion.

Twitter was previously valued at $9.9 billion after a fund managed by BlackRock Inc. bought stock from a group of Twitter’s early employees.

Founded in 2006, Twitter is well into its prime in Silicon Valley years. But even as investors get more excited about the prospects of an IPO, the company continues to try temper speculation. Last month, founder Jack Dorsey told Bloomberg that Twitter is “not even thinking” about an IPO, and CEO Dick Costolo told the Wall Street Journal recently that going public is “not necessarily inevitable.” Two years ago he told the Mercury News, “We never think about or talk about when we want to go public.”

Heather Somerville Heather Somerville (210 Posts)

Heather Somerville is a business reporter covering venture capital and startups for the Bay Area News Group.