Exclusive: Twitter Raises $200 Million at a $3.7 Billion Valuation; Adds McCue and Rosenblatt to Board
Twitter has completed its latest round of funding–$200 million at a $3.7 billion valuation–with Kleiner Perkins as the lead investor, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Sources said the San Francisco microblogging service is also adding two new board members: Flipboard’s Mike McCue and David Rosenblatt, who ran DoubleClick until a bit after it sold to Google.
Twitter recently added former Netscape exec Peter Currie to the board, as BoomTown previously reported.
A Twitter spokesman confirmed the funding and the board appointments, but declined further comment.
The moves are big ones for Twitter, which is moving fast to upgrade its management and business model under CEO Dick Costolo, who just posted a blog (see below) on the new funding and directors, titled “Meaningful Growth (although it was first curiously called, “Stocking Stuffers,” and was much funnier).
But, indeed, a big slug of cash will surely help the start-up’s expansion efforts and essentially declares it is not for sale to bigger companies such as Google (quite yet, that is).
As I reported last week, Kleiner partner John Doerr has been pushing hard to fund Twitter, beating out Russia’s DST Global.
Kleiner is the only new investor in the latest round, which brings its funding total to $360 million since it was founded about five years ago.
The storied Silicon Valley venture firm, which has been aggressively moving into the Web 2.0 space of late, put in $150 million, with the remaining $50 million coming from existing investors.
Past investors include Benchmark Capital, Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital and several other venture firms and angel investors.
Adding Currie, McCue and Rosenblatt are very strong choices for the board. Currie has deep financial and IPO experience, McCue is a well-connected and innovative entrepreneur and Rosenblatt brings much-needed online advertising heft.
As it happens, Costolo will appear at our D@CES event in January, where I am interviewing him and we can talk about all the changes.
(Thank goodness the funding is done, since I was worried about all those awkward pauses.)
Here is new version of Costolo’s blog post on McCue and Rosenblatt (the old one is below it for you to compare and contrast):
In the past 12 months, Twitter users sent an astonishing 25 billion Tweets and we added more than 100 million new registered accounts. In that time, our team has grown from 130 people to more than 350 today. We’re thankful for every Tweet, every account, and every talented employee who has decided to join the Twitter team. This week, we’ve got some big news to share.
As part of a significant new round of funding with investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers and existing investors, we’ve added two new members to Twitter’s board of directors. Please join us in welcoming Mike McCue and David Rosenblatt. The experience these new directors bring to Twitter, along with this renewed investment, will help us continue to grow as a company and business.
2010 was one of the most meaningful years since Twitter, Inc. was founded in 2007. We operate on a principle that people are basically good–when you give them a simple way to express this trait, they prove it to you every day. We’re proud of what Twitter users have accomplished, we’re proud of our work, and we’re very proud of our team. Thanks for being a part of this work; it means a lot to us.
Growth is fun. In the past 12 months, Twitter users sent an astonishing 25 billion Tweets and we added more than 100 million new registered accounts. In that time, our team has grown from 130 people to more than 350 today.
This week, we added two new members to Twitter’s board of directors who have strong experience running technology companies: Mike McCue and David Rosenblatt. Mike was the CEO of Tellme Networks, is currently CEO at Flipboard and also worked for Netscape and Microsoft (which acquired Tellme in 2007). David is the former CEO of DoubleClick and an ex-Google executive.
We also closed a significant new round of funding, with new investor Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers leading the round. KPCB brings to Twitter a track record of helping build great companies, ranging from Amazon to Zynga (get it? A to Z? See how we did that?), and a team with expertise in Internet, mobile and social platforms. The additional resources and expertise will be extremely helpful as Twitter continues to grow as a company and business.
Thank you to Twitter users everywhere for making 2010 such a good year.