So Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has been repeating his tired old line about Twitter’s financial strength: He told the Los Angeles Times that the company has “a truckload of money in the bank.”Costolo, a former standup comic, has been trotting that one out for a while in response to the persistent questions about whether Twitter’s planning to go public anytime soon: It’s the same thing he told an audience of reporters at Twitter headquarters in September 2011.
And yes, the company has raised a lot of money: About $1.1 billion, including a giant $800 million round, half of which went to the company and half of which was used to buy back shares from early investors and employees, which valued the company at $8.4 billion.
So call the total that Twitter has banked $700 million.
But a truckload?
We did the maths. Stop laughing!
A common estimate has 9,600 paper bills fitting in one cubic foot. A 16-foot Penske moving truck has 826 cubic feet. Fill it with $100 bills, and you get $793 million.
Of course, if you fill it with $50s, you’d cut that by half: $397 million.
Twitter is doing amazingly well in mobile advertising, especially compared to the competition. That said, its ad-sales business has only recently started to click, it’s been hiring aggressively, and it just moved into a gorgeous new office on San Francisco’s Market Street. So it’s spent some significant portion of the money it’s raised.
We’ll give Costolo credit for an accurate metaphor, though: His “truckload” number is in the right range.
And heck, a truckload of $1 bills is worth $7.9 million. So Costolo can run Twitter’s bank account pretty low before he starts having to talk about having a mere “wheelbarrow of cash” or “satchel of loot.”