Twitter has set a price range of $17 to $20 per share for its much-anticipated initial public offering and says it could raise as much as $1.6 billion in the process.

Twitter Inc. said in a regulatory filing Thursday that it is putting forth 70 million shares in the offering. If those are sold, the underwriters can buy another 10.5 million shares. At the $20 share price, Twitter's market value is around $12.5 billion. That's a relatively conservative number — some analysts had expected that figure to be as high as $20 billion. The caution shows that Twitter learned from Facebook's rocky initial public offering last year.

Not surprisingly, Twitter's IPO will be much smaller than Facebook's, which was marred by technical glitches on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Those problems likely led Twitter to the New York Stock Exchange.

The San Francisco-based short-messaging service plans to list its stock under the ticker symbol “TWTR” on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares will likely start trading in the next few weeks.

Who owns Twitter stock

Twitter set the initial parameters for its initial public offering Thursday, and revealed how much of the company early investors and executives are expected to hold after its sells its first batch of shares. Here are the top stake holders, the number of shares and percentage of the company they are targeted to own after the IPO, which Twitter expects to command a per-share price of $17 to $20.

  • Rizvi Traverse, founder of private equity firm: 85,171,093 shares, 15.6 percent

  • Evan Williams, cofounder: 56,909,847 shares, 10.4 percent

  • JPMorgan, investment bank: 48,849,820, 9 percent

  • Spark Capital, venture capital: 32,414,224 shares, 6 percent

  • Benchmark Capital Partners and Peter Fenton, venture capital: 31,568,740, 5.8 percent

  • Union Square Ventures, venture capital: 27,838,992, 5.1 percent

  • DST Global, venture capital: 23,744,745, 4.4 percent

  • Jack Dorsey, cofounder: 23,453,017, 4.3 percent

  • Richard Costolo, CEO: 7,675,239, 1.4 percent

Additional reporting by Jeremy C. Owens, San Jose Mercury News.