Twitter held talks to buy audio-based Clubhouse for $4bn, say sources

Clubhouse now reviewing its position as acquisition discussions no longer ongoing

Established social media companies have quickly gone to work on their own versions of Clubhouse, including Twitter. File photograph: Getty

Established social media companies have quickly gone to work on their own versions of Clubhouse, including Twitter. File photograph: Getty

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Twitter held talks in recent months to acquire Clubhouse, the buzzy audio-based social network, according to people familiar with the matter.

The companies discussed a potential valuation of roughly $4 billion for Clubhouse, said the sources. Discussions are no longer ongoing and it’s unclear why they stalled, they added.

A Twitter spokesman declined to comment. A Clubhouse representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bloomberg News reported earlier this week that Clubhouse is in talks to raise funding from investors in a round valuing the business at about $4 billion. After the talks with Twitter failed to proceed, Clubhouse began to explore whether it made sense to raise financing at that valuation instead. The app lets users host their own online radio shows. Listeners can tune in to hear interviews or panel discussions and ask to participate in live chats.

Clubhouse is barely a year old but has drawn appearances from some of the biggest names in business and Hollywood. Established social media companies have quickly gone to work on their own versions of Clubhouse, including Twitter. Facebook is exploring one, also, and Microsoft’s LinkedIn and Slack Technologies have also said they’re working on similar features for their networks.

Bullish Dorsey

Twitter shares were up about 3 per cent on Wednesday, giving the San Francisco-based company a market value of $55.1 billion.

Twitter’s Clubhouse competitor, called Spaces, launched in late 2020, though it’s still in beta form and not all users can create or host public discussions. Chief executive Jack Dorsey is bullish on the potential for audio as a new way for people to interact on Twitter and the company has long bet on live content through partnership deals and acquisitions.

On Wednesday Twitter head of revenue product Bruce Falck said the company is considering ways to monetise Spaces, but those discussions are still in the very early stages. – Bloomberg

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