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The future of investing in Twitter, Uber

With Uber still private, people don't understand just how profitable it is, says Robert Peck, internet equity analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Though it's just six years old, Uber is already making money in its "mature" markets, Peck told CNBC's "Squawk Alley." The rumors of fast growth have left investors chomping at the bit to get in on the company, as initial public offerings have stagnated since the middle of last year.

"What you've seen is some of the private markets be able to capitalize on the growth as they come later and later for IPOs," Peck said Tuesday. "It will be interesting to see, as the IPO winter sort of thaws here, as companies start to ramp up going forward, if investors will get a shot at those."

IPOs slowed down to 2012 levels at the end of last year, and have yet to pick back up, according to Proskauer's Capital Markets Group's 2016 IPO study. It comes as recently public technology companies like Twitter have dipped below their IPO prices and private valuations.

But Twitter is starting to get some upside potential, Peck said, as the stock has approached $20 from its high price of more than $50. And if things don't turn around, the real-time social network could be an acquisition target.

"They have a bunch of levers that they are just starting to tap into, whether it's integration with DoubleClick, integration into Google search, the Moments platform," Peck said. "And quite honestly on a risk-reward basis here, you're looking at a $12 or so downside risk ... it trades where a broken company would be trading."