Twitter has a bulging financial war chest after Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers reported it led a $200 million fourth round of venture financing for the booming social networking phenomenon.
The new investment values Twitter at $3.7 billion, which is more than three times its value a few months ago. The new infusion of money means that the company can continue its aggressive hiring and that it won't have to float an IPO in the foreseeable future.
The investment is something of a departure for Kleiner Perkins, which has recently been focusing on alternative technology. It also represents a return to more mainstream technology investments, following its legendary success in investing in Google, Amazon, Genentech, Juniper Networks and Sun Microsystems, to name just a few of its successful investments.
Twitter's 140-character "tweets" have taken the social networking world by storm and there is a consensus among early users that its usefulness has just begun. Twitter also named Mike McCue and David Rosenblatt, successful entrepreneurs, to its board of directors. Former CEO of DoubleClick, Rosenblatt sold that company to Google for $3.2 billion. MCue sold voice recognition provider TellMe to Microsoft for $800 million. McCue has also been running Flipboard, a Kleiner Perkins investment that helps create magazine formats for Apple's iPad.
"We are privileged and excited to be the lead investor in Twitter's latest investment round," Kleiner Perkins said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg news. "We look forward to helping the company become the next great Internet treasure."
The investment follows close on the heels of the venture capital firm's naming Mary Meeker, Morgan Stanley Internet analyst, as a partner.