David Kirkpatrick

February 25, 2009

Twitter raising $250M

Looks like Twitter it capitalizing on the exponential increase in publicity this year.

Find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/davidkonline.

From the link in the intro sentence:

Twitter, which just recently turned down a half billion dollar acquisition offer from Facebook (albeit to be paid mostly with Facebook stock), is dipping back into the venture capital market, we’ve heard from a source with knowledge of the deal. They’ve signed a term sheet with at least one venture fund to raise a new round at a $250 million valuation. We are still gathering information on how much they’re raising and from whom.

It’s likely they’ll raise more than the $20 million in capital they’ve taken in over two previous rounds. Their last round, raised in June 2008, was a $15 million raise from new investors Spark Capital and Bezos Expeditions. Union Square Ventures and Digital Garage increased their previous investment.

Rumor is Twitter hit up more than a few venture firms to pitch the $250 million valuation, and got more than one “no.” But someone’s bit, perhaps encouraged by Twitter’s breakneck growth and the interest from Facebook. That means Twitter gets a new cash injection and time to figure out its business model at an even more leisurely pace.

Update: We’ve heard from two sources the venture firm that signed the term sheet is IVP.

(Hat tip — socialmediawiz)

January 23, 2009

LinkedIn goes after “super-connected”

The “super-connected” users and LinkedInhave been in something of a war. The super-connected claim they are providing a service and aren’t simply collectors of connections for bragging rights. LinkedIn says these users are defeating the spirit of the professional networking site.

The reality, as always, probably lies somewhere in between. The super-connected are undercutting some of LinkedIn’s profit channels, and once the connection list becomes too large the super-connected really can’t provide that much service for everyone on the list.

This warmish war just become a little more hot. Looks like LinkedIn has taken additional steps to rein-in the super-connected users.

For the record, I do utilize LinkedIn and have found it a great way to reconnect with previous colleagues (a real boon for a longtime freelancer like myself) and a resource to expand business contacts — I’m on a new freelance writing headhunter’s list because of the site. Just based on my interactions with the site I don’t see the utility of the super-connected, but I also see no reason to crack down on the group.

Of course, at the end of the day LinkedIn will win this head-to-head. It’s their site governed by a user’s agreement.

From the second link:

 LinkedInhas quietly clamped down on a controversial association known as the LinkedIn open networkers (LIONs), a group of LinkedIn members who liberally add contacts — known on LinkedIn as “connections” — even if they don’t know each of the people personally. The group’s strategy runs counter to LinkedIn’s official policy, which states that LinkedIn members should only connect with people they know .

In the recent development, some LIONs have received messages saying that they have exceeded a newly imposed connection limit of 30,000.LION members say they have pending “invitations to connect” that they cannot accept as a result of the restriction. An unofficial site known as the TopLinked.comtracks the connection counts of many LIONs.

The decision to place more restrictions on the LIONs comes several weeks after CIO.com profiled LinkedIn open networks and the group’s history. In the article, LIONs were described, at their best, as helping disparate strangers connect on the service, ideally leading to new jobs or business opportunities. At their worst, they are described by critics as name collectors looking to leverage their connection lists to spam unwitting members.

December 19, 2008

LinkedIn founder returns

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:28 am

An AP report via Technology Review:

After taking a back seat for nearly two years, LinkedIn Corp. founder Reid Hoffman is reclaiming the CEO’s job and bringing in former Yahoo Inc. executive Jeff Weiner to help steer the online professional network through its next phase of growth.

Hoffman’s return as chief executive, announced Wednesday, comes as a surprise, given LinkedIn’s success since he recruited Dan Nye to take over the reins of the Mountain View-based company in February 2007.

With Nye at the helm, privately held LinkedIn says it has been profitable as its revenue rose tenfold and the number of people creating profiles on its Web site more than quadrupled to 33 million.

The success helped LinkedIn raise $80 million in venture capital this year in a series of investments that valued the company at about $1 billion.

Find me on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidkonline

November 26, 2008

Obama and the internet

Filed under: Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:59 am

After deftly harnessing the web during the long campaign, it’s expected the Obama administration will continue its groundbreaking political use of the internet. During the campaign Obama garnered a half a billion dollars from over 3 million donors and utilized the net for all manner of organization (you can find a blog post of mine on his campaign’s tech here.)  

From the first link:

With the campaign having learned what kinds of results you get from social-networking sites, viral videos, email lists, and text-messaging, it’s not hard to imagine that this administration will operate far differently than its predecessors. Sure, it’s not clear what shape it will take: how much YouTube, how much social-networking, how many email blasts from the White House or from proxies. Getting it right will be tricky. But clearly, Obama’s recent “radio address” on YouTube is a taste of things to come. I spoke yesterday with Thomas Gensemer, managing partner of Blue State Digital, the company that set up the social networking tools for the campaign (and which supplied the numbers above). He said: “My biggest outsider claim is this: The way the campaign helped inform critical decision-makers of the value of digital assets, means [these assets] will have a significant role in the ongoing administration.”