Inspiring to say the least…just thought it was a cool story. It came up on one of my feeds: http://www.business-opportunities.biz
The tech world was abuzz when AOL acquired Bebo for $850 million. If you’ve never heard of the company, you’re hardly alone. Bebo is a solid but second-tier social network in the U.S. in terms of traffic — the site trails MySpace and Facebook by a considerable margin.
Bebo is, however, huge in Britain, where co-founder Michael Birch was born, and that seemed to be enough for social-media-starved AOL to shell out a huge sum for it. After paying off their investors, Birch and his wife and business partner, Xochi, pocketed more than $500 million. Not bad for a three-year-old company.
“Bebo has always been a lot more successful in the U.K., and although the U.S. is our next-biggest market, we need to grow in the U.S. The combination of AOL’s strong presence in the U.S. and its product AIM, which is the No. 1 instant messaging application in the U.S., made us think that AOL and Bebo could feed off each other. AIM’s demographic is very similar to Bebo’s, so we felt there was a great opportunity to cross-promote. ” Birch said.
What’s next? “The current plan is to take a couple of years off. I do want to do start-ups again, but with a start-up, there’s no halfway. Either you work like crazy, or you don’t do it. I also want to do something that’s not about making money. I want to contribute to a nonprofit venture in the U.K. and encourage more entrepreneurship there. And I’ll do more angel investing and advising.”
Photo by dailymail.co.uk.