Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

He's Back! Bebo Founder Michael Birch Reinvests in His Old Company

See? You can go home again! And if your old home has significantly depreciated since you last saw it, you could even put some money back into it.

That’s what Michael Birch is doing, by signing on as an advisor to Bebo, the social network he co-founded in 2005, and investing an undisclosed amount of cash back into the business.

The irony, of course, is that the reason Birch has cash on hand to invest in Bebo is that he sold the company for $850 million to AOL in 2008, at the height of the Web bubble. AOL ended up writing down the entire purchase, and sold it to Criterion Capital last summer for a few million dollars and a tax write-off.

Now Criterion CEO Adam Levin says he can make something out of the business, though reports are bubbling through the tech world that he’s already trying to flip the thing.

I’ve been told he’s looking to sell for $25 million, but for the record, a PR rep says that “we are not actively marketing Bebo for a sale.” Noted! (But if, say, Google wanted to pick up a piece to help jumpstart its social efforts…)


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”