Sold for £560 million, bought back for £655k

| Social media

Sold for £560 million, bought back for £655k

The social networking site that was sold for £560 million back in 2008 has been bought back by its creator for just £655,000.

Michael Birch and his wife Xochi set up the website in 2005. The social site became extremely popular among teenagers and is considered to be the Facebook of its day.

Bebo reached its peak of 40 million monthly users in 2008 when it was bought by AOL (in a deal that was regarded as very overpriced) for £560 million.


The downfall of Bebo

Shortly after the purchase it was said to be the worst deal in internet history when Bebo lost popularity to Facebook and Twitter.

AOL sold the site in 2010 to Criterion Capital Partners, due to the falling numbers of unique users. AOL said that because Bebo couldn’t compete with other social networks sites at its current state and they couldn’t take on the massive task to keep Bebo in the race.

In May 2013, Bebo filed for bankruptcy which led to it being bought back by Michael Birch for £655,000 on July 1st, he tweeted “Can we actually reinvent it? Who knows, but it will be fun trying.”

Bebo is re-entering into a very competitive and fast-moving market with only a small amount of its once great userbase. The site had only 420,000 unique visitors in the UK in May 2013, down from 626,000 in May 2012.

But with new management will Bebo regain any of dominance within the social world?

Luke Stanley