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Twitter looking to raise US$1bn in IPO

Twitter has made a formal filing to start its initial public offering, seeking to raise US$1 billion.

As Twitter files with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering, we get the first detailed look at its financial situation.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. (Credit: Dan Farber/CNET)

In the filing, Twitter states that it seeks to raise US$1 billion in new cash. In the first half of 2013, Twitter brought in US$254 million in revenue, with US$317 million in 2012 and US$106 million the year before.

While these are big numbers, Twitter has actually never made a profit. It posted net losses of US$79 million in 2012 and US$69 million for the first half of this year. The company has said there will be 472.6 million shares of common stock outstanding after the IPO.

From the filing, we also have some new stats from Twitter. The service has 215 million monthly active users and 100 million daily active users. Terrifyingly, these users generate around half a billion tweets every day.

Over 75 per cent of the monthly active users are accessing the service from mobile devices, and it's these mobile users that account for 65 per cent of Twitter's advertising revenue.

The company is hoping to have the stock symbol TWTR, although it's yet to choose an exchange.

While Twitter is undoubtedly an important player in the internet industry, its numbers and financials are still dwarfed by Facebook, which seems to have made a better job of monetising its service. Facebook boasts 1.15 billion monthly active users, and in its recent quarterly earnings report, it posted US$1.8 billion in revenue, with US$656 million of that from mobile advertising.