LOS ANGELES--Twitter didn't rake in $100 million because it was about to run out of money, investor and board member Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital said in a panel at the 140 Conference on Tuesday morning.
There was still money left over, Sabet explained, from what the company had raised from Benchmark Capital and Institutional Venture Partners in February, which followed Twitter's Series C round in the spring of 2008. Twitter, according to Sabet, raised the money from Insight Venture Partners and T. Rowe Price last month because it wanted to grow up: hire new people, launch new products, strike partnerships, and the like. Contrary to Twitter's reputation for "fail whale" errors, Sabet insisted that the money wasn't needed for an emergency server shopping spree or anything. (Some may disagree.)
"The expectation when you raise a lot of money, it's a statement that you want to build a company, an independent company," Sabet said when moderator Robert Scoble asked him what he thought of the fact that Twitter has not yet put forth a long-term business model. "We didn't need the money...it was a very purposeful kind of commitment to try to make a company."
A billion-dollar valuation is pretty nice to have, too.
A correction was made at 2:13 p.m. PT: a source with knowledge of the deal confirmed that Twitter's April 2008 and February 2009 rounds of funding are considered to be separate rounds.