More Web 2.0 Acquisition Deals to Come? Plaxo, Digg on the Block?
It’s obvious at this point that acquisition deals are to Web 2.0 start-ups as IPOs were to Web 1.0 ones.
As far as bubbles go, I suppose that’s fine, since average investors are safe from the machinations of investment bankers and venture capitalists this time and the only ones at risk are the big companies overpaying by doing the acquiring.
Are Plaxo and Digg among the latest targets?
We’ll see. But as we wrote last week, for example, AOL confirmed it bought the content-targeting ad network Quigo (for $300 million, said sources) yesterday, for example, and most expect more buys to occur in the hot ad-network space that includes start-ups like AdBrite and Tribal Fusion.
But with the $240 million mega-investment that Microsoft recently made in Facebook that values the company at $15 billion, look for more deals in that hot space or in related areas.
There’s talk, for example, that Plaxo–which calls itself a universal digital assistant–might get snapped up soon (two sources close to the company said that cable giant Comcast has been in talks with it), although another similar player, LinkedIn, is considering going public (we have a video interview with new CEO Dan Nye, which we will post soon).
And Valleywag had an interesting post on speculation around the fate of Digg, citing rumors that have been swirling for a long time now about the online news discovery site.
The price? The ubiquitous $300 million, which is about 10 times the revenue Digg is now getting from its recent guaranteed sweetheart ad deal with Microsoft.
As we said, money from big companies like Microsoft are propping up the bottom lines of Web 2.0 players, keeping Bubble 2.0 from popping, and leaving average investors to fret about bigger stock worries like subprime mortgages.