Hoping to transition quickly from private to publicly traded company, Twitter is giving the public its first look at the company's inner finances on Thursday as it prepares an initial public offering in the coming months.
The San Francisco-based micro-blogging site released its S-1 filings after submitting them to the Securities and Exchange Commission three weeks ago. With 215 million monthly active user as of February, Twitter wants to begin selling its stock under the ticker "TWTR" and wants to raise $1 billion from outside investors. That monthly figure is up from 200 million in February.
The company also announced that it generated $317 million in revenue last year, up from $106 million the year before. But that impressive growth is undercut by the fact that the company is still losing money, to the tune of $79 million in 2012. That's down from $128 million lost in 2011.
Twitter indicated that it makes money in two ways. It gets about 85 percent of its revenue of advertising, mainly through "Promoted Tweets" inserted into tweeters streams. The rest comes behind the scenes though data licensing agreements that allows partner companies to search through Twitter data in real time to pick up on emerging social trends.
Twitter kept its finances hidden from the public for nearly a month using a provision in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act for businesses with under $1 billion in revenue.
"The mission we serve as Twitter, Inc. is to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly without barriers," Twitter wrote in a letter to potential investors. "Our business and revenue will always follow that mission in ways that improve–and do not detract from–a free and global conversation."
Investors will get three weeks to mull over Twitter's documents before company executives go on a road tour to talk up the company. Early reports indicated that Twitter wanted to make its IPO quick in order to avoid the months-long hype gave Facebook a rocky start on the open markets in 2011. A source told Reuters that executives want the IPO to happen before Thanksgiving.
Twitter did not say whether Twitter stock would be traded on NASDAQ or NYSE.