Twitter now worth less than half of what Elon Musk paid for it, billionaire admits

·2-min read
 (Reuters)
(Reuters)

Elon Musk has reportedly valued Twitter at around $20 billion, less than six months after acquiring the social media company for $44 billion.

In an email to employees seen by The Wall Street Journal, Mr Musk told them they would receive stock awards based on a $20 billion valuation of the firm.

He also told workers that Twitter “can be thought of as an inverse startup” due to the rapid reshaping that he has undertaken over the last five months. During that same time, Mr Musk’s net worth has fallen by around $100 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

“I see a clear, but difficult, path to a >$250B valuation,” Mr Musk wrote in the email.

Twitter’s main source of revenue has traditionally come through online advertising, however several high-profile advertisers withdrew following Mr Musk’s controversial takeover of the platform.

Mr Musk has attempted to supplement these losses by relaunching the paid-for subscription service Twitter Blue.

During a Twitter Spaces session in December, Mr Musk claimed that the company’s financial situation had forced him to take drastic measures in order to cut costs.

“I spent the last five weeks cutting costs like crazy,” he said.

“I now think that Twitter will, in fact, be okay next year... Roughly cash flow break even.”

Part of these cost-cutting measures involved reducing Twitter’s workforce from around 7,500 to below 2,000.

No Twitter representatives were available for comment on the latest valuation, with Twitter’s communications team among those disbanded following Mr Musk’s takeover.

The email address that was used by the team, press@twitter.com, now autoreplies with a poo emoji.

In separate news, Twitter revealed in court filings that part of its source code had been leaked online, raising questions about security at the company.

Legal documents filed with the US District Court of the Northern District of California alleged that a hacker by the name of FreeSpeechEnthusiast had posted excerpts of the Twitter’s underlying code to the platform GitHub.