Kleiner Perkins values Twitter at $4 billion?

Multiple unnamed sources close to new Twitter funding talks say John Doerr will get what he wants

Financial trends and news by Ronny Kerr
December 1, 2010 | Comments (2)
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Twitter + DoerrRemember when it was a big deal to see rumors that Twitter was raising a $50 million round at a $1 billion valuation? Or better yet, when they were valued at $250 million?

Rumors swirled Wednesday that a new giant funding round is about to go down, valuing the not-so-fledgling microblogging site at $4 billion.

The startup’s supposed valuation had already soared to about $3 billion in the last few weeks, when there was talk that high-stakes investor Digital Sky Technologies (DST), also an investor in Facebook, Groupon and Zynga, was about to inject one its traditionally massive rounds into Twitter.

Now, reports indicate that another high-profile venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer, is set to win the bidding by valuing Twitter at $4 billion.

Key Kleiner Perkins investor John Doerr is reportedly directly involved with the potential deal.

“Doerr wants to own part of Twitter, and Doerr generally gets what he wants,” said one source close to the deal.

Doerr has helped restore Kleiner Perkins to the limelight with new and influential investment funds iFund and sFund, targeting startups building on the iOS and Facebook platforms, respectively. Most recently, Doerr helped his firm pick up Mary Meeker, one of the early Internet Gurus and veteran Morgan Stanley research analyst, as a new partner.

We’ve contacted Twitter for comment but have not yet heard any response, though no parties involved in the current deal seem at all willing to speak.

Things got a little tense at Web 2.0 Summit a couple weeks ago when Federated Media Publishing founder John Battelle pressed both DST CEO Yuri Milner and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, in separate on-stage interviews, to talk about a potential funding round in the works.

“We have a lot of money in the bank,”  was Williams’ only response.

Milner remained absolutely mum.

Twitter’s last big funding was a $100 million round raised from Insight Venture Partners, T. Rowe Price, Institutional Venture Partners, Spark Capital and Benchmark Capital. That round, which closed about a year ago, valued Twitter at $1 billion.

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Melissa Thelemaque, on December 1, 2010

Amazing. I'm not surprised it's going so high. I think Twitter is often undervalued because it's harder to quantify its popularity, for example. And let's be honest, it seems to become more useful every day.

Ronny Kerr, on December 1, 2010

I agree. When I first heard about Twitter, I didn't fully "get" it, which I think is still true for most people who don't actually use the site. Once you sign up, start following a few people, and realize it's not exactly a "social network," you start to see its value in other ways. For me, it's an indispensable news source.

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