Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed invests $300M in Twitter (update)

Hot on the heels of Twitter’s $800 million sixth round of funding, Saudi investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and his firm Kingdom Holding have announced a $300 million investment in Twitter.

But the investment is actually a secondary deal, meaning Alwaleed bought the shares from existing Twitter investors, reports Fortune’s Dan Primack. That means Twitter won’t be seeing any additional funds from the investment.

Referred to as a “strategic stake,” or more than 3 percent in the company, the investment is Alwaleed’s first in a social networking site, but he also has holdings in Apple, General Motors, and News Corp. Alwaleed is the largest individual investor in Citigroup.

“We believe that social media will fundamentally change the media industry landscape in the coming years,” said Ahmed Halawani, KHC executive director of private equity and international investments, in a statement today. “Twitter will capture and monetize this positive trend.”

Update: The investment suggests Twitter’s valuation is at around $10 billion, given that Alwaleed is willing to spend $300 million for at least 3 percent of the company. That’s a big jump from Twitter’s ~$8 billion valuation from September.

The news follows Twitter’s latest round of updates, affectionately dubbed “new new Twitter,” which aim to make the service more accessible to mainstream users. The injection of new funds could help Twitter to speed up development, and make it better suited to compete against Facebook in the fight to attract a general audience. Facebook is expected to raise $10 billion through an initial public offering (valued at $100 billion) early next year, according to the latest reports.


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