Plush enough for
10 ball pits
Last week, a Series C funding round for Twitter drew $35 million from Institute Venture Partners and Benchmark alone; other participants, like Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital, did not divulge the amount they contributed to the social network.
In a blog post about the round, co-founder Biz Stone admitted the socnet hadn't been seeking financing, but ultimately felt it was "an offer we couldn't refuse."
Prior to this round, neither Benchmark nor IVP had invested in Twitter. Per the terms of the deal, Benchmark's Peter Fenton will join the board of directors.
Stone called Twitter's growth trajectory "phenomenal," claiming active users "increased 900% in a year and […] we see twice that traffic to the APIs." Twitter use is also growing among SMS users.
In November 2008, Kara Swisher of All Things Digital revealed Facebook and Twitter had been in acquisition talks. Facebook reportedly offered the microblogging site $500 million worth of its own stock, which Twitter ultimately declined.
The company is historically mum about the overall size of its financing rounds. In June '08, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos paired with Spark Capital to give Twitter an undisclosed infusion of financing. A year prior to that, an A-list crowd of investors loaned Twitter between $1 million and $5 million, allegedly on a $20 million pre-money valuation.
Twitter is also contemplating a revenue model more seriously, with Stone indicating the company would begin "iterating on revenue products" sometime this year.
A number of companies, both prominent and less so, use Twitter to manage brand discussions and keep in touch with clients. Recently, Agent Provocateur joined this illustrious crowd. Twitter also made headlines last month when a user broke news about the landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in real-time, scooping major newswires by at least 15 minutes.