Al-Waleed bin Talal – Saudi prince, billionaire, owner of a boss mustache – has invested $300 million in Twitter.
The Saudi investor announced the move in a statement released by Kingdom Holding Co., Alwaleed’s Saudi-listed investment firm. The company already has stakes in numerous other corporations, including Citigroup, General Motors, Apple, and News Corp.
Bin Talal’s investment in Twitter took place after months of negotiation, though it’s not known what share of the social media company the $300 million has bought him. In short, the value (or implied value) of Twitter has not been revealed.
However, we do know that the splurge has not made much of a dent in Bin Talal’s bank account – he was ranked 26th on Forbes’ 2011 list of the World’s Billionaires, with a fortune estimated at $19.6 billion. Bin Talal and Kingdom are clearly convinced of Twitter’s potential for monetization. Ahmed Halawani, the Executive Director of private equity and international investments at Kingdom Holding, said:
“We believe that social media will fundamentally change the media industry landscape in the coming years. Twitter will capture and monetize this positive trend.”
According to eMarketer, Twitter’s revenues are set to hit $139.5 million in 2011 – that’s three times what they were in 2010.
Alas, it doesn’t look like the prince will play with his new toy much. He prefers texting for communication, though his wife, Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel, is apparently a veteran Tweeter with more than 81,000 followers. She is just one of 100 million active users worldwide.