On Thursday, Twitter announced that it submitted paperwork to the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering:
We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.— Twitter (@twitter) September 12, 2013
As Quartz explained earlier this year, the confidential filing takes advantage of some relatively new SEC rules that allows companies with annual revenues of under $1 billion to keep their filings secret until just three weeks before starting to market shares. They continue:
It was largely proposed and pushed by venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, who said it would stem a decline in US IPOs by reducing the burdens of going public felt by smaller firms. Ordinarily, a company has to make public a lengthy discussion of its financials, strategy, and risks months before an IPO, giving investors—and competitors—more of a chance to evaluate the stock.
Twitter, recalling the circus-like atmosphere (and disaster) of Facebook's IPO, has previously said that it wanted a "low-profile" offering, rumored to hit some time near the beginning of 2014 . As of last February, the company was valued at about $10 billion by one of its investors (we have a breakdown of that valuation here).
According to Bloomberg News, Goldman Sachs will be the lead underwriter for the IPO. Sachs, incidentally, was one of a handful of companies sued by Facebook investors in May of 2012. Investors accused the firms of misleading them over Facebook's revenue estimates.
Now, back to work. pic.twitter.com/e4lK8e7pY9— Twitter (@twitter) September 12, 2013
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo heightened rumors of an impending filing when he declined to take questions at this week's TechCrunch Disrupt conference after a brief speech, despite expectations that the company would file any day now.