I have been following along with the news that Twitter is seeking funding from VC people and have also looked at the idea of Twitter being offered up for sale. Paul Boutin in that piece at the Industry Standard talks a little about the numbers that Twitter is facing as its annual mortgage rate so to speak:
Twitter’s PR team hasn’t responded to my email, so I’m stuck with guesses. First, how many employees does Twitter have? Co-founder and creative director Biz Stone emailed to say there are currently 27. Using a West Coast average of $125,000 per year in salary, benefits and overhead for staff, that’s under $4 million per year for staff.
and further states:
Last year, the company’s blog claimed costs of $1,000 per user per year to send SMS messages to Europe — which is why Twitter stopped sending them. But there are no numbers for what its U.S. customers cost. To calculate that, we’d need to know the total number of tweets sent through the system in, say, a month, plus the per-message price that Twitter has (hopefully) negotiated with cellphone carriers. I can’t even find a good guess anywhere on either of those.
The numbers have never been provided to anyone and the folks at twitter are keeping the solid stuff under wraps. I would have liked to be a fly on the wall as they negotiate the numbers and showing their ideas and business plans to the people with their bank accounts but we may not get that privilege. Is their company really worth $250 Million? Many are questioning how that could be since they have shown no real idea on how they will make money. Others yet have said that they are clearly worth more than that including those people at Facebook that offered to purchase the company at a price tag of $500 Million. In spite of the arguments for and against, it is interesting given the current economic problems we face. We will keep track of the story as it unfolds.