Today Twitter confirmed that it has filed an S-1 with the SEC and is therefore on the road to going public. This is an important moment for Twitter, and for tech, as it shows that the IPO window is open. Here’s Twitter on its filing:
We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.
— Twitter (@twitter) September 12, 2013
Count to 10 and let’s hope the damn thing leaks right away. We don’t know much, but expect Twitter to go public at a valuation of roughly between $15 billion and $20 billion, roughly. Its last private money came in at around a $10 billion valuation, and those investors will want a return on their funds.
Goldman Sachs is said to be the lead underwriter of the offering.
Facebook’s IPO, for comparison, valued the social giant at around $100 billion on the day of its flotation. The irony here is that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg yesterday at Disrupt told the world that it should not be afraid of going public. Twitter did not decide to go public on the back of Zuck’s axiom, but it is nicely pat that it announced this news the day after his comments.
Facebook’s public offering was marred with trading errors and a slipping stock price, and the company lost tens of billions of value before it recovered. Facebook is currently trading at fresh highs, helping to set the stage for Twitter: Whatever the Facebook IPO hangover was, it is no more.
Twitter’s public offering has been a very long time in coming, and contains inside of it oodles of institutional pressure: With hundreds of millions of invested capital under its belt, Twitter has a number of investors that want their money back. It has been well-managed, sure, but cash has a certain feel to it. The IPO will be a zoo. But it will be a fun zoo, and that is all that matters. The NASDAQ and the NYSE are at war a bit on who gets to host more tech offerings, but I think that we’ll be seeing the NASDAQ scoop up this deal.
Now, what are Twitter’s revenue and profit figures? We’ll actually get to know soon, though the fact they are filing in this fashion does imply that Twitter had less than $1 billion in revenue in 2012. So, there’s that.
by Alex Wilhelm