Twitter may set up Dublin base


MICRO-BLOGGING website Twitter confirmed this week it is seeking to expand outside the US, prompting speculation that it could set up shop in Ireland.

Twitter was a-buzz in recent days with rumours that the company has set its sights on Dublin or London as possible locations, fuelled by meetings between Twitter executives and British prime minister David Cameron reported by the Telegraph.

The Guardianadded further fuel to the fire when a blog on its website quoted an unnamed source on a recent trip to Dublin as saying that Twitter had already decided to move there.

However, the company is staying tight-lipped about its plans. “We are actively considering several locations to create an initial and small presence in Europe in 2011,” a spokeswoman for the firm said.

There was no further detail on what locations might be in the running, or what size workforce the company was considering for Europe. Twitter already employs 350 people at its US operations.

IDA Ireland, which is often involved in helping bring new investment of this type to Ireland, said it was not aware of any definite plans for Twitter to establish a base here.

“It would be a target company of ours; we’d love to see them in Ireland,” said a spokesman. “It would be joining a strong cluster of peer companies already here.”

If the social media site set up in Ireland, it would join similar companies such as Facebook and professional networking site LinkedIn, which located its international headquarters in Dublin. Ireland is also host to Yahoo, Google, HP and Intel.

Twitter this week said it raised $200 million in financing, a move that valued the company at $3.7 billion. It also added two new board members, FlipBoard chief executive Mike McCue and DoubleClick’s David Rosenblatt.

In a post on its corporate blog, Twitter said the money, raised from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers and existing investors, will help it grow the company.

Founded in 2007, Twitter said it added more than 100 million new registered accounts in the past 12 months.