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Micro-blogging service and media darling Twitter has raised its third round of funding. Co-founder Biz Stone announced the news in a blog post, listing Benchmark Capital and Institutional Venture Partners as lead investors; Benchmark confirmed the amount at $35 million, though TechCrunch, which broke the news, is reporting that it’s a bit larger.
S.F.-based Twitter previously raised $20 million in two rounds from a host of new media backers, including Charles River Ventures, Spark Capital, Union Square Ventures and private investors like Marc Andreessen and Ron Conway. In the post, Stone said the startup still had “significant capital” left from last year’s round, but that the new funding would foster more tech development and finally help Twitter build “revenue-generating products.”
Twitter’s popularity has surged, despite its lack of a business model, and has garnered plenty of media attention since mid-2008: President Obama planned to use Twitter to announce his running mate at the start of the election, CNN covered how breaking news spread through the service, and VCs have even invested in Twitter-related startups like TweetDeck and StockTwits. Meanwhile, Twitter has been the subject of acquisition rumors (including a botched deal with Facebook) — and all this for a company that only recently hired its first business development exec.