Twitter says it’s nowhere near an IPO – ‘We are really just getting started’

The rumours have been churning with an ever increasing pace over the past couple of months, but Twitter insists it’s not planning for an IPO. In fact, it’s not even close to that stage.

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone dismissed rumours floating around cyberspace, among them one that suggested JPMorgan Chase & Co. was looking to buy 10 percent of Twitter for roughly half a billion dollars, which would put Twitter’s valuation at just under $5 billion – slightly less than Groupon’s $6 billion (Google’s buyout offer) and a fraction of Facebook’s $50 billion (arguably a massive bubble).

Quoth Reuters:

“We have so many other things before we even think about that,” Stone told Reuters when asked about the prospects of an IPO . . . “We are not even discussing it internally. It’s too far off,” the 36-year-old said, adding that Twitter had no plans to raise funds over the next 12 months.

Stone said Twitter wanted to remain independent and was not in any formal bid talks. Twitter held talks with Facebook “a couple of years ago … (but) nothing formal since and it’s mostly rumours all the time”, he said. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Google and Facebook have held low-level takeover talks with Twitter that give the Internet sensation a value as high as $10 billion.

“We make money. We earn money from a suite of products. We are just really getting started.”

Twitter doesn’t give out a lot of numbers, but industry research firm eMarketer said earlier this year that Twitter generated approximately $45 million from advertising in 2010, and is expected to earn roughly $150 million this year, suggesting impressive monetary growth.

Twitter’s last funding came in December, when the real-time information network raised $200 million. The deal valued the microblogging company at $3.7 billion.