The Banking and Strategy Initiative

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An IPO for Twitter? | Advantage Dealbook

Spurned social media mavens at Twitter, whose original promoters moved on leaving innovator Dick Costolo with the truant baby, are ready for a surprise riding on their political zanyness at the height of the Middle East revolution earlier this year.  Even as Syria continues under fire, Twitter grew its Arabic meassages  22 times in volume till this October. This year’s top trending hashtag on twitter was #egypt and the date of the revolution’s beginning #jan25

Prince Walid bin Talal of Saudi Arabia and his wife, Princess Amira.Saudi Arabian Prince AlWaleed Bin Talal did not lose sleep over the available value picks in banking and real  estate in 2007 and along with his ownership of 95% of Kingdom holdings amassed a $21 bln fortune, adding Twitter to his crown jewels this week along with Citigroup, General Motors and Apple that already are in the Kingdom holdings portfolio.

Twitter is also adding rich photo and video based advertising to the “Promoted tweets” platform though Dick specifically mentioned at a Web 2.0 conference in SFO that it is not the same as inserting movie trailers in the tweets..(Going by Twitter’s history etc…we’ll let marketing blogs speculate the rest)

All tweets for the #jan25 Egypt revolution ona Twitter Dynamic Network Diagram courtey you tube video courtesy panisson
All tweets for the #jan25 Egypt revolution on a Twitter Dynamic Network Diagram

In fact Yuri Milner’s DST which also holds 10% in Facebook, caught up with a $400 mln investment in Twitter in March 2011 at a $ 8 bln valuation.

The Twitter IPO would however likely bomb at that price without a trace as comparisons of its 100 mln active users against Facebook’s 800 mln has become the Mountian vs Mohammed story that never ends right.

Zynga is already trading another 40 cents lower in Monday trading dragging it to 9% lower from the $10 IPO price in barely 6 hours and some minutes

The latest $300 mln investment in Twitter is made at a $6.7 bln valuation and looks promising for Dick Costolo, who had earlier left Twitter for Ev and Biz to try and scale into a public success financially. Promoted Tweets are its sole source of revenue, though traffic and engagement at Twitter has led Facebook’s conversion to a premium platform in its 6 years

The Kingdom holdings portfolio has had Citi as a holding since 1991, claiming a 28% CAGR on its income on the website, In hotels he bought the larger brand Four Seasons only in 2007 and his News Corp and Time Warner buys were in the first phase of the digital revolution ( the internet boom circa 1997-2000) He has since been invested in private enterprise across Saudi arabia and Kuwait as a focus, incl IFA hotels and United Saudi Bank. He also owns interests in HP, Pepsico, P&G, Disneyland, Movenpick, eBaY and the Canary Wharf development in London showing a bias for Banking and Financial Services, media and real estate plays. (yellow in the map below is banking and green coded for real estate)

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