Twitter said to be near a deal for $100 million in venture funding

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Twitter may be close to locking up a deal for $100 million in new venture funding, a sum that would nearly triple the total venture capital poured into the 3-year-old messaging start-up.

The new investment round, which would include investment firm T. Rowe Price and Insight Venture Partners, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, would value Twitter at close to $1 billion.


Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Among the most familiar refrains in the social media business is that companies do best to build value and audiences before they focus too heavily on generating revenue. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone reinforced the features-first, money-later approach this week when he said ‘it’ll be awhile’ before users see any advertising on Twitter.

Twitter has also said that it will support what it calls ‘commercial accounts’ for businesses, which would offer paying customers more tools for analyzing their Twitter traffic. That feature may arrive by the end of the year.

Twitter’s last round of funding came in mid-February, when it collected $35 million from the likes of Institutional Venture Partners and Benchmark Capital. Spark Capital and CEO Jeff Bezos’s Bezos Expeditions participated in the round before that.

In recent days, Twitter has been adding to the slate of sites and services that are allowing users to tweet, including MySpace and AOL’s Lifestream platform.

-- David Sarno