Get ready for the next big social networking share sale.
Twitter says it want to make its stock market debut to raise $1 billion – the equivalent of 735 million euros.
The Nasdaq exchange is the most likely place for it to list, but that has not been confirmed.
The last major Silicon Valley stock offering – Facebook – was there, with not very happy results.
One of the most powerful social and cultural media forces, Twitter has become a communications channel for politicians, celebrities and journalists, airing their news and views.
But that popularity has yet to translate into profit and Twitter has posted big losses over the past three years. It lost $69.3 million (51 billion euros) in the first six months of 2013, on revenues of $253.6 million (186 million euros).
Now it has to convince Wall Street investors it can make money.
Losses are “a non-issue,” said Brian Wieser, analyst at Pivotal Research Group. “It would have been a surprise if they had a profit. Here’s the number that really matters. It’s the revenue per customer. The question is how much is the typical commitment they’re getting from advertisers at this time.”
With over 215 million monthly active users worldwide growth has been explosive, but recently slowed.
Two thirds of the company’s ad revenues come from mobile devices, in what it admits is a volatile and highly competitive online advertising market.
Twitter started in 2006 as a side project within Odeo, a struggling podcasting company. Since then it has grown to approximately 2,000 employees based in 15 offices around the world.
The length of tweets was capped at 140 characters in order to include a user’s name and still fit within the 160-character SMS messaging format used by mobile phones.
If all goes smoothly, Twitter’s IPO could re-boot a consumer dotcom IPO trend that stalled after Facebook’s haphazard debut and subsequent steep share-price decline.