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Twitter Braces For New Round Of Financing

Launched initially as a consumer service, Twitter is increasingly being used by businesses.

Now Twitter this: "No value but worth $1 billion." That's the alleged worth of the as-yet unprofitable 140-character microblogging phenomenon, based on an investment of $100 million that is reportedly about to be made in Twitter.

According to media reports, mutual fund firm T. Rowe Price, and private equity firm Insight Venture Partners are leading a group of new investors preparing to make the investment.

Twitter gets some 54 million visitors a month, according to comScore. Investors must figure there is a pony in there somewhere among the growing piles of Tweets

Already seen as a possible competitive threat to Facebook, a well-financed Twitter could mount more direct competition to Facebook by acquiring some of the social networking firms that seem to be proliferating like rabbits.

"Once every five years or so, a company comes along that has nearly unlimited potential in terms of worldwide users," Paul Holland, a general partner at Foundation Capital, told Businessweek. "Five years ago, it was Facebook. Today, Twitter appears to be 'the next big thing in social networking."

Earlier investors in Twitter include Benchmark Capital, Bezos Expeditions, Charles River Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners and Union Square Ventures.

Launched initially as a consumer service, Twitter is increasingly being used by businesses -- a development that Twitter is promoting. A current Twitter promotion reads: "From local stores to big brands, and from brick-and-mortar to Internet-based or service sector, people are finding great value in the connections they make with businesses on Twitter. The conversational nature of the medium lets you build relationships with customers, partners, and other people important to your business."


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