UPDATE 4-Twitter reveals rip-roaring growth, big losses ahead of IPO

Thu Oct 3, 2013 10:55pm EDT
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* First disclosure shows revenue almost tripled in 2012

* Filing shows business heavily reliant on advertising

* Initial public offering targets $1 bln fund-raising

By Gerry Shih and Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Twitter Inc, racing toward the largest Silicon Valley IPO since Facebook Inc's 2012 coming-out party, hopes to woo investors with rip-roaring revenue growth despite having posted big losses over the past three years.

The eight-year-old online messaging service gave potential investors their first glance at its financials on Thursday when it publicly filed its IPO documents, setting the stage for one of the most-anticipated debuts in over a year.

Twitter's debut will be the culmination of its journey from a side-project to a sociocultural phenomenon, one that has become a communications channel for everyone from the Pope to President Barack Obama. Last month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani used Twitter to disclose a "historic" phone conversation with the U.S. President.

The service's emphasis on real-time communication - whether it be about breaking news or chatting with friends about a TV show on air - sets it apart from rivals such as Facebook.

Now, though, the company must prove to Wall Street it can continue to make money, even as growth slows after a period of explosive expansion around the world.   Continued...