Twitter Makes £80m Swoop On Data Reseller

Aug 12, 2014

Twitter has revealed that it paid $134 million (£80 million) in stock and cash for a Colorado-based social data startup, Gnip.

The package was outlined in the firm's 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission and includes more than $107 million in cash plus as much as one million shares of restricted stock and other equity awards to employees of the six year old firm.

While the numbers are nothing to be sniffed at, this is not Twitter's biggest deal to date: the micro-blogging giant acquired mobile ad network Mo Pub for $350 million (£208 million) last year.

The Gnip acquisition underlines Twitter's decision to take a pro-active role in analysing tweets for its advertisers, who seek insights into the service's users in order to create more targeted ads.

Gnip is a data reseller, with access to the site's entire steam of tweets, estimated at roughly 500 million a day. The company, which already had a long partnership with Twitter, then analysis this information and resells it to businesses wanting to know how consumers view them.

Companies with a large user base have become increasingly keen to analyse its members as advertisers switch their focus from reaching the most people to reaching the most relevant people. In a similar move, for example, last year Apple purchased another data reseller, Topsy Labs, for a price believed to be in excess of $200 million (£119 million).

In its SEC paperwork Twitter also revealed that it had acquired four other companies for $55.5 million (£33 million) in cash and stock. As part of the deal, it will also pay cash and shares worth $57.8 million to employees of the purchased companies dependent on their continued employment at the firm.

Author: Barclay Ballard
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