Twitter has confirmed that it has filed its S-1 with the Security and Exchange Commission with Goldman Sachs as the lead underwriter.
Though this means Twitter’s IPO is inevitable, some have projected that the company going public may happen in late 2014 or early 2015, while others doubt things will solidify so early, as Twitter still needs to reach the 400 million user mark and a total $1 billion revenue before it can go public.
SiliconANGLE’s Founder and CEO John Furrier was one of the early few who predicted that Twitter may soon file for an IPO, though he faced skepticism from all sides.
“I was laughed at when I told people Twitter would be the next big IPO,” says Furrier. “I guess I got a little private victory there.”
“Twitter is part of the fabric of the web, a sort of signaling system. In SXSW in 2007 when it really took off—we saw that people wanted to use Twitter to know where the parties were, we saw that there was a necessity for signaling. Twitter was a communication fabric in a new media called ‘real-time web,” Furrier stated.
But what does Twitter going public really mean? Nothing is expected to change with the service itself, but users can expect more ads to come their way, since ads are Twitter’s primary source of revenue and have yet to prove a profitable model. Though there will be more ads, many hope things won’t get so bad as Facebook’s ad experience. One benefit of Twitter’s IPO timing is that it came after Facebook’s disastrous Wall Street debut. There’s certainly lessons to be learned as a social platform going public, as well as pitfalls to avoid regarding advertising models’ integration into the user experience.
How to get your hands on Twitter stock
For investors wanting a piece of Twitter, you might have to wait longer since Twitter has only filed its S-1. No details regarding how many shared will be offered, when it will be offered, and shares’ value, have been divulged. It is expected that some shares will be held back for individual investors.
According to Jay Ritter, professor of finance at the University of Florida, 20 percent of shares are typically held back for individual investors. So if you want in on the Twitter fun, better check with your brokerages in the next couple of months to see how many shares will be available for grabs. Large online brokerages such as TD Ameritrade, Fidelity and Charles Schwab, have deals with underwriters that allow them to get allocations to certain IPOs.
It is expected that more information will be revealed after Twitter has filed its IPO registration statement for the public to see. Some are expecting that Twitter will go public by December, so brokerages should possess more details by November.
Successful IPO ahead
It is expected that Twitter will be able to raise a huge amount of money when it goes public, especially since social and technology companies are doing well this year. Facebook, which has been trading well below its IPO price since it went public, recently made a happy recovery, trading above its IPO price of $38 per share.
“It’s maybe a little earlier than some people suspected. A lot of people suspected first quarter of next year,” said Carter Mack, president of JMP Group Inc., a San Francisco investment banking and asset management firm. “It’s been a terrific IPO market for technology-related companies this year.”