By MT Staff Tuesday, 02 August 2011

Dear Twitter, From Russia with Love

Twitter is now valued at an extraordinary $8bn after a substantial injection from Russian technology investor Digital Sky Technologies.

The microblogging site has just received $400m from the Russian dotcom mogul Yuri Milner and secured another $400m from secondary funding.

Twitter, apparently worth $8 billion, boasted in a blog that it had grown from 250 people a year ago to 600, and it was delivering 200 million "tweets" a day, compared to 65 million. However, it is still only expected to generate revenue of a $100 - $150 million this year.

Interestingly, Milner has a bit of a track record in backing digital winners and causing heart palpitations in Silicon Valley. He has apparently dumped more than $1bn worth of funds into Facebook and other sites such as Groupon, Zynga - the company behind the hugely addictive FarmVille.
 
Of course, nothing seems to be stopping the five year old Twitter child, which with more than 200m users is a very rowdy dotcom. Even with the original architects - such as Biz Stone and Evan Williams – taking a back seat, and an overhaul of Twitter’s management team, the company is doing stonking business in inflating that internet bubble.
 
Milner, perhaps an unconventional oligarch, studied nuclear physics before going to the Wharton school of business in the US, before going to work at World Bank. He went back to Russia as a hedgie and worked for the now imprisoned tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
 
Earlier this year Milner forked out a $100 million for a French style Chateux in Los Altos Hills; which was described by the WSJ as the most ever paid for a single family home in the US. Bet he didn’t tweet about that when he crossed the threshold.

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