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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Bebo founder pays $1m to buy back site sold for $850m

Bebo founder pays $1m to buy back site sold for $850m

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Redbulls

Redbulls
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics
Michael Birch aims to reinvent site that has lost most of its users since its sale to AOL in 2008

The internet entrepreneur who founded Bebo has paid $1m (£660,000) to buy back the social networking site five years after selling it to AOL for $850m.

Michael Birch, who co-founded the site with his wife, Xochi, in 2005, tweeted late on Monday: "We just bought back Bebo for $1m. Can we actually re-invent it? Who knows, but will be fun trying …"

Once the darling of younger teenagers in Britain, Bebo reached a peak of 40 million monthly users in 2008 when it was bought by AOL in a deal widely regarded even at the time as significantly overpriced.

By 2010 a lack of strategic leadership on the part of AOL and the rapid growth of Facebook had crippled Bebo, and AOL in effect closed it down, though users could still access the site.

The investment consortium Criterion Capital Partners bought Bebo's assets for between $2.5m and $10m in June 2010, later bringing Birch on board as strategic adviser.

Birch is now the sole owner after beating two rival bids in a post-bankruptcy auction. A team of designers and engineers at Birch's San Francisco-based business Monkey Inferno are now working on redesigning the site.

Shaan Puri, chief executive of Monkey Inferno, said: "We're excited about the ambitious challenge of bringing Bebo back, and couldn't be happier to announce that the product in the hands of the founders. We know the odds are stacked against us but we love challenges and the Bebo users deserve better that what they have received in the past few years."

Birch faces a significant battle to differentiate Bebo from Facebook, which allows users to join from the age of 13. Bebo's core user base was younger teenagers, a notoriously fickle market as the rival MySpace also discovered.

While MySpace has attempted a slick redesign and refocus on music, teens have also shifted towards apps including Snapchat, which lets users share pictures that self-destruct, and sharing tools such as Vine and Instagram.

Bebo is re-entering a very competitive and fast-moving market with only a fraction of its peak userbase. The site had 420,000 unique visitors in the UK in May this year, down from 626,000 in May 2012, according to comScore.

The Birches owned 70% of Bebo when it was sold to AOL and were estimated to have made $595m from the deal. Michael Birch has subsequently been an active investor in other startups, putting money and time into citysocializer, the Smarta startup awards and becoming a partner at PROfounders capital. He also started The Battery, a private members' club in San Francisco, as well as Monkey Inferno. Birch joins an exclusive list of executives who have returned to save their companies, including the Dell founder Michael Dell and Steve Jobs, who turned a floundering Apple into the world's most valuable company.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jul/02/bebo-founder-buys-back-site

Burpy


Senior Equity Analytic
Senior Equity Analytic
dialog bought anything.lk at a valuation of US$ 6 million and pushed to merge with with wow.lk............it failed..........Basketball 

Arena


Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
I am deadly serious.

How much you people or Dialog can give me for following site.  Any Web site guy from the forum please reply me. Anything.lk valuation is around 800m............ok. Chinwi plz reply. I just need a value i wont sell it at this level.May be a partnership.....We are upgrading the site every day and night. Still no proper marketing is done.There will be separate sections for almost all the products in the mkt such as fashions and electronics mainly focusing on Ceylon products.

http://billionceylon.com/

sriranga

sriranga
Co-Admin
@Arena wrote:I am deadly serious.

How much you people or Dialog can give me for following site.  Any Web site guy from the forum please reply me. Anything.lk valuation is around 800m............ok. Chinwi plz reply. I just need a value i wont sell it at this level.May be a partnership.....We are upgrading the site every day and night. Still no proper marketing is done.There will be separate sections for almost all the products in the mkt such as fashions and electronics mainly focusing on Ceylon products.

http://billionceylon.com/
Compare anythink.lk and yours at http://www.worthofweb.com/, may be you can get an idea to certain extend.(Not sure)

http://sharemarket-srilanka.blogspot.co.uk/

Arena


Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Sriranga.

Alexa ranking and all other ranking are well known. I know it is in the basic level. Just a two months old baby machan............I may get very small valuation for sure.



Last edited by Arena on Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:39 pm; edited 1 time in total

Bond


Manager - Equity Analytics
Manager - Equity Analytics
How much for 51% stake? What a Face 
C'mon tell us a figure

Arena


Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Will sell this to PCH Risha. They will list it for couple of millions. lol

Chinwi

Chinwi
Associate Director - Equity Analytics
Associate Director - Equity Analytics
@ Arena,

I can see your technology is Okay . Is your team do the handing of the supply chain , packaging and handover for delivering also ?

Can any local manufacturer link with you and get your service to market/ sell his product abroad?

We are interested only in exporting SL products and not importing goods for locals.

If you have sensitive info email me . I will PM my contacts.


Arena


Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
@ Chinwi.

I replied via a gmail.........
I will give the answers asked as follows, since this is an on line forum so others also have the right to know the answers for the questions raised above ne ?

- Yes we handle the supply chain through DHL or EMS.
- Yes Local manufactures who produces items such as Tea,Cinnamon Fashion etc can join with us. We pay them upfront for any product we want.

- We do not do imports at the movement. but if we success the way we need billionceylo.com or Billionstore.com will be an online shopping mall for every one.

UKboy

UKboy
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
@Burpy wrote:dialog bought anything.lk at a valuation of US$ 6 million and pushed to merge with with wow.lk............it failed..........Basketball 

Ah... they could have bought Bebo n upgrade it with excess amount tongue 

Arena


Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Dialog just bought it. We cant say it is a fail at this level. Businesses need years to show the results.Anything.lk recently appointed a CEO a well..

seek


Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
@Arena there is a PM to you

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