"The fast-growing Internet messaging service is currently in discussions to raise a new round of private financing, said people familiar with the matter . The move is set to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in a round valuing Twitter as high as $7 billion, said one of the people. It is unclear which investors are participating in the new round. "
The move is a huge jump from Twitter's $3.7 billion value seven months ago following a $200 million private financing bump from venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Twitter got a push in February as well when venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz invested $80 million through purchases on the secondary market that valued the company at about $4 billion.While the bump in value is welcomed, the move may indicate that Twitter has work left to do on the business side of things.
"Though Twitter has a growing user base that its Web contemporaries may envy, its ad system remains fledgling and it isn't generating as much annual revenue as Groupon or Zynga. Twitter is also much smaller than its contemporaries, counting just over 500 employees, and until recently its executive ranks were thin."
Twitter was created in 2006 and has more than 200 million registered user accounts. The company is currently on track to produce about $150 million in ad revenue this year up from $45 million in 2010. To increase value Twitter will need to pick up the advertising pace aside from 'promoted tweets,' which look like a regular tweet and show up in some users' Twitter accounts or when any Twitter user executes a search on Twitter.com.
"Twitter is currently working on a plan to regularly incorporate promoted tweets prominently in users' accounts, the company has said, which could accelerate revenue growth.
Twitter is also working on ways to create a new ad offering of the sort that made Google, inc. a Web-search advertising powerhouse, said a person familiar with the matter."
Twitter has been lead the last year by 47-year-old Chief Executive Dick Costolo, a former management consultant and Google product manager. Aside from guiding the move of the company's two founders, one now a spokesman and the other a member of the board, Costolo has brought on talent from Google, Facebook and News Corp.
In May 139 million unique visitors globally, up from 90 million a year earlier. The site hit 27 million unique U.S. visitors in May, up from 23.8 million in 2010.