Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Exclusive: Andreessen Horowitz Invests $80 Million in Twitter

Andreessen Horowitz has invested more than $80 million in Twitter via purchasing stock in private secondary markets.

When called about it by BoomTown, a spokeswoman at the high-profile Silicon Valley venture firm confirmed the purchase.

To be clear, Twitter does not get this money–early investors and employees able to sell their privately held Twitter shares do.

Buying into the secondary markets–which have recently attracted some controversy and regulatory scruntiny–has become a common way for VCs to invest in a hot start-up without a complex and competitive funding bake-off.

The move is an interesting one, since Andreessen Horowitz was not part of the recent $200 million round of venture funding at the San Francisco microblogging company, led by Kleiner Perkins at a $3.75 billion valuation.

Sources said that the firm made the move because it is already deeply invested in other key companies in the social space, including gaming giant Zynga, location-focused Foursquare, local discounting phenom Groupon and general social networking behemoth Facebook.

Apparently, Twitter makes it a full basketball team.

The investment by the firm gives more perceptual boost to Twitter, which is still trying to create a lucrative business model for itself, focused on advertising.

It needs to, if it want to stay independent for the long haul.

While an IPO is a possibility, so is an acquisition. Several months ago, while it was doing its funding round, Twitter had incoming interest from Facebook, which lobbed in a $5 billion soft offer, as well from Google.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik