Twitter is now Worth $8 Billion
There has been buzz throughout the week about the value of Twitter, particularly after The Wall Street Journal reported that the micro-blogging site was worth up to $7 billion dollars.
Thanks to The New York Times, some more definite numbers have rolled in, and Twitter is worth an estimated $8 billion.
San Francisco-based Twitter has been raising $400 million during a private funding round that doubles the company’s valuation from its $3.7 billion value after raising $200 million in December.
The funding round this time will be split into two portions, led by Yuri Milner’s investment firm DST Global with participation from previous investors like venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
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Other online companies like Zynga and Groupon are going public this summer, but Twitter has resisted entering public markets, possibly because the site isn’t generating nearly as much in ad sales.
Twitter makes about $200 million from advertising annually, which means an $8 billion valuation is about 40 times its sales.
According to the Times, Zynga generated $597.5 million last year with a profit of $90.6 million. When Zynga goes public, it is expected to offer shares at a valuation of at least $20 billion, amounting to about 33 times sales.
Recent studies show that despite low ad revenue, Twitter is definitely gaining popularity. Twitter currently has more than 200 million users who send an approximate total of 200 million tweets a day. That’s a huge jump from this time last year, when users were only sending 65 million daily tweets.
Dark Wolf: accelerating security for USAF
As a small company whose biggest customers are the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, Dark Wolf Solutions (Dark Wolf) is a triple-threat, specializing in Cybersecurity, Software and DevOps, and Management Solutions. Dark Wolf secures and tests cloud platforms, develops and deploys applications, and offers consultancy services performing system engineering, system integration, and mission support.
The break for Dark Wolf came when the Department of Defense decided to explore software factories. Rick Tossavainen, Dark Wolf’s CEO, thinks it was an inspired path for the DoD to take. “It was a really great decision,” he says, “Let’s pull our people together as part of this digital transformation and recreate what Silicon Valley startup firms typically have. Let’s get into commercial facilities where we have open windows and big whiteboards and just promote ideation and collaboration. And it creates this collaborative environment where people start creating things much more rapidly than before.”
It has been, Tossavainen says, “amazing to watch” and has energized the Federal Contracting Sector with an influx of new talent and improved working environments that foster creativity and innovative ways of approaching traditional problems.
“We originally started working with the US Air Force about three years ago. The problem was at the time you could develop all the software you wanted but you couldn’t get it into production – you had to go through the traditional assessment and authorization process. I talked to Lauren Knausenberger and she told me about Kessel Run and what eventually came out of this was the DoD’s first continuous ATO [Authority To Operate].”
The secret to Dark Wolf’s success – and its partnerships with USAF and Space Force – lies in a client-first attitude. “We’re not looking to maximise revenue,” Tossavainen explains. “We tell all of our employees, if you’re ever faced with an issue and you don’t know how to resolve it, and one solution is better for the customer and the second is better for Dark Wolf, you always do number one. We’ve just got to take care of our customers, and I look for other partners that want to do that. And let’s work together so that we can bring them the best answer we can.”
Rapid releases and constant evolution of software are common themes among USAF’s partners. Like many firms operating in the commercial and public sector spaces, Dark Wolf leads with a DevSecOps approach.
“Failure is tolerated,” says Tossavainen. “If it’s not going the right way in three months, let’s adjust. Let’s rapidly change course. And you can tell really quickly if something’s going to be successful or not, because they’re doing deployments multiple times a day – to the customer.”