Twitter kicks off pre-IPO investor roadshow

Executives pitch social network's power to instantly share information

Twitter kicked off its pre-IPO roadshow, meeting with potential investors and touting the social network's ability to democratize users' voices and the power of instantly sharing information with the world.

Twitter executives had a low-key meeting with a select group of high-profile investors at a hotel in Philadelphia on Monday, according to a report from the Bloomberg news service.

CEO Dick Costolo and Chief Financial Officer Mike Gupta met with investors at the invitation-only event, the report noted. They are reportedly meeting with potential investors in New York City today, moving on to Boston and Chicago later this week.

"We just never thought it would go this way and I think that's part of the reason it's succeeded," said Biz Stone, a co-founder of Twitter, in a video featuring company executives that was put together for the roadshow. "It's such a simple tool but people have done some amazing thing with it."

In the video, Twitter noted that more than 500 million tweets are posted per day. More than 350 billion tweets have been published since the site was launched in 2007.

Twitter has more than 230 million global monthly active users, Costolo said, and 77% of those users are outside the U.S. and another 76% primarily access Twitter on a mobile device.

"Twitter gives every voice the ability to echo around the world," said Costolo. "Twitter is a powerful platform to share information with the world instantly. When events happen in the real world, they happen digitally on Twitter... Anyone can tweet and anyone can read tweets. It has democratized content creation and distribution,"

The video also notes that users tweeted pictures of passengers being rescued from a U.S. Airways jet that made an emergency landing on the Hudson River in 2009. It also shows President Obama making his first presidential tweet in 2010 and an astronaut talking about tweeting from space.

Twitter is expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange next week.

Last week an amended S-1 pre-IPO document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, showed that Twitter is setting its share price between $17 and $20.

Twitter, with a maximum valuation of $11.1 billion, plans to offer 70 million shares, while giving underwriters an option for another 10.5 million.

During its roadshow, industry analysts expect investors to grill Twitter executives on why the microblogging site hasn't turned a profit and how it plans to rectify that. Along with quizzing executives about how they plan to fend off social rival Facebook, potential investors also are likely to focus on how the company can sustain user growth and engagement, their advertising plans and why some people join the site but don't end up using the service.

This article, Twitter kicks off pre-IPO investor roadshow, was originally published at

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is

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