Twitter banked $200 million in funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and others, a major investment round that values the company at $3.7 billion.
The move comes more than a year after Twitter received an infusion of $50 million that valued the company at $1 billion. The startup, which has let its 175 million users post 25 billion messages of 140 characters or less in 2010, has raised nearly $360 million since its launch in 2007.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo confirmed the new cash infusion in a brief blog post Dec. 15, adding that Flipboard CEO Mike McCue and David Rosenblatt had joined Twitter’s board of directors. Rosenblatt was DoubleClick’s CEO when Google acquired it in 2008 to bolster its display ad business.
Costolo said Twitter would use the money to help “us continue to grow as a company and as a business” but declined to be more specific.
Twitter will use the cash to bolster its fledgling advertising business and bring its messaging capability to more businesses.
That means hiring more people to develop products and perhaps hitting the streets to reach out to local businesses for ad purposes. Having Rosenblatt on hand to advise Twitter’s leadership in advertising potential should be a big help in the latter regard.
Twitter Dec. 15 also revamped its Business.twitter.com Website to help businesses not only use Twitter, but how to advertise themselves on the popular service.
Business.twitter.com features a section about Twitter’s ad products, covering Promoted Trends, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Tweets.
There are also case studies on how Best Buys and JetBlue use Twitter to market themselves, and ways to contact Twitter for advertising possibilities
Many analysts see an IPO in Twitter’s future provided it does not sell to a larger company such as Google or Facebook.
Under Twitter Co-founder Evan Williams, who ceded his CEO post to Costolo to helm product development, there is little evidence this will happen.