Home  › Marketing › Strategies
Twitter Money

Twitter Files for IPO Under Cloak of Secrecy

  |  September 13, 2013   |  Comments

Twitter announced its plan to go public late yesterday afternoon, but shared little else about its finances or strategy with would-be investors.

Twitter announced its plan to go public late yesterday afternoon, but shared little else about its finances or strategy with would-be investors. The long-anticipated move comes amid a flurry of activity for the company and just days after its largest acquisition to date.

The complete absence of any details surrounding the initial public offering is a surprise, and awkward for a company that's been credited with breaking open closed societies by propelling the free flow of ideas and thought. But Twitter has also avoided the early scrutiny that dampened the IPO prospects of other startups like Facebook and Groupon. A controversial provision in the JOBS Act passed by Congress last year allows Twitter to keep everything and everyone in the dark until three weeks before the company rings that opening bell on Wall Street.

"We've confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO," the company posted in a tweet. "This tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale."

By taking advantage of the JOBS Act, Twitter also indicated that its annual revenue is less than $1 billion because anything above that amount would require it to operate outside the newly secret IPO process. In fact, Twitter wasn't even required to publicly acknowledge the S-1 filing.

"Confidential S-1s? But what could be wrong with releasing 100s of pages of new financial and strategic company info to the Internet while gagged?" former Groupon CEO Andrew Mason tweets a few hours after the announcement. One can only imagine how things might have turned out differently for Mason and Groupon's IPO if the JOBS Act was in place at the time.

Twitter's former VP of communications, Sean Garrett applauded the company for what appears to be a methodical march toward the IPO. "Who knows how the IPO will do, but the way that Twitter has created a drumbeat leading to this moment has been masterful," he writes on Twitter.

Twitter currently has more than 200 million active users and has raised more than $1 billion in venture funding since June 2007. Some analysts have suggested the company is worth as much as $16 billion, but that won't come to fruition until the company announces its initial pricing and provides details on its business for the first time.

"After seeing Facebook's stock finally regain its footing a year after going public, we can only imagine Twitter has learned a thing or two from Facebook and will be prepared for potential investor and user blowback," notes Leila Thabet, managing director of We Are Social's business in the United States.

"Twitter has made several pushes this year to bulk up their advertising platform, and with recent RTB acquisitions like MoPub, it looks like we haven't seen the last of the changes in store," Thabet adds. "Whether Twitter becomes a viable ad platform truly depends on how many brands are able to take advantage of the platform's real-time nature and deliver ad content that users will find relevant, entertaining, or insightful."

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Kapko

Matt Kapko has been writing about mobile since 2006, before it became cool. Based in Long Beach, CA, he has covered mobile entertainment, digital media, marketing, and advertising for several business media outlets. A former editor and reporter for RCR Wireless News, paidContent, and iMedia Connection, Matt is a regular freelance reporter for ClickZ. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @MattKapko or drop him a line at matt@kapko.co.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...