March 13, 2008

Is Bebo cheap & Facebook Over–priced?

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AOL's decision to purchase social networking site Bebo, a UK based Facebook & MySpace rival for $850 million in cash was announced this morning. It has been the talk of the day and possibly the next few weeks in the tech webosphere.

While it is all well and good for AOL and the owners of Bebo, it does make me wonder about Facebook's supposed $15bn valuation.

With 67 million active users on Facebook and a valuation of $15bn (due to evil Microsoft's purchase of 1.6% of Facebook for $240m last year), each Facebook user is worth about $230.

Whilst Bebo's current $850m valuation and 40 million users makes each Bebo user worth a mere $21.

The disparity to me seems to be far too wide and makes me wonder if AOL got a deal of a life time or Facebook is far too over-valued.

Some might argue that Bebo’s user demographic is a younger bunch but does it justify a more than ten-fold price per user?

I know Facebook is quite an innovative company but don't assume Bebo is not equally as innovative, remember they pioneered innovations like the homebrewed drama - Kate Modern on their Open Media platform that has attracted over 25 million view; and don’t forget Bebo’s interactive online reality drama, “The Gap Year”.

So should Zuckerberg cash in quick? Or is it already to late?

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