Meet the New Bebo

One of the first questions raised by AOL’s sale of Bebo was why would anyone buy the struggling social network.

The answer: the site still has a large user base, a target demographic that should allow it to carve out a niche for itself, and a few obvious ways to make more money, says Adam Levin, the serial entrepreneur who acquired the company.

AOL bought Bebo for $850 million two years ago. It sold it last month for a small fraction of that. (Neither AOL nor Mr. Levin would disclose terms of the deal.) Mr. Levin, managing partner of private-equity firm Criterion Capital Partners, has invested in films, a mobile video company, a company that makes golf grips, and a minor-league hockey franchise. Now he’s taken over Bebo as its CEO. The 31-year old says that he’s planning to treat the company like a start-up—with a few advantages.

While users have left Bebo since it was acquired by AOL, it still has 117 million registered users. Of those, about 13 million use the site at least once a month. Bebo gets about 4.5 billion page views each month, according to the company.

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