Twitter nears deal to raise USD 100 mn: report

Micro-blogging site Twitter is close to securing USD 100 million funding from about seven investors, a move which will make it a billion-dollar entity, says a media report.

Attributing to people familiar with the situation, The Wall Street Journal said, Twitter Inc is nearing a deal to garner as much as USD 100 million that would buy the fast- growing Internet-messaging company more time to chalk out its business model.

The investor group, expected to pump in funds into Twitter, are likely to include mutual-fund giant T Rowe Price Group Inc and private-equity firm Insight Venture Partners, the report said.

The group of investors may also include firms that have previously made investments in the company, including Spark Capital and Institutional Venture Partners, it added.

The proposed funding companies are valuing Twitter, which has yet to generate more than a trickle of revenue, at about USD 1 billion, the report said attributing to the people familiar with the plan.

"That's more than triple the valuation Twitter received during its last round of capital raising in February, underscoring how quickly the company has grown," WSJ stated.

Twitter offers micro-blogging, which allows users to send short text messages, among others, on various multimedia platforms.

The San Fransisco-based company, which allows people to send out short 140-character messages, had 54.7 million unique visitors worldwide in August, up from 4.3 million in the year-ago period, according to comScore Inc.

Twitter is facing competition from companies such as Facebook that have also rolled out Twitter-like features. Facebook has opened up its site to allow people to share more of their content and notes publicly, for instance.

The ability for people to broadcast messages to anyone who wants to read them, and not just their friends or people they know, has been one of Twitter's big draws, the WSJ report said.

According to the publication, earlier this year, T Rowe Price and Fidelity Investments invested USD 50 million in Slide Inc, a maker of social-networking applications, valuing it at USD 550 million.

Last week, technology news blog TechCrunch had said Twitter was looking to raise about USD 50 million through private equity fundings.

Earlier this year, Twitter had raised over USD 35 million in a round led by Benchmark Capital and Institutional Venture Partners.

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