Michael Birch, CEO Bebo.com

When I first heard of the social networking site bebo.com I thought it was nothing more then a front/spam  for other services.    Boy was I wrong,  the CEO Michael Birch has built many sites over the past few years and sold a lot of them.

Bebo has grown huge in the UK,   I didn’t start watching the UK market until recently, but from what I can tell Michael has taken the company from 4 million daily pageviews to  60-75 million a day in the UK.   The company has also recently taken funding to the tune of $15 million.    I don’t really like the idea of taking VC money as it signals that you are most likely going to sell the company in the next 3 years.   Given that Michael starts one company after the next I don’t think he cares to much…  For a quick laugh take a look at alexa,  suppidly 7 million pageviews a day Digg.com is 10 times bigger then 100 million pageviews a day  bebo.com

Bebo just recently hired away MSN’s European sales director. and the company is expanding rapidly in all english speaking countries and now building its own Adnetwork.    In the long run I think that Bebo will beat myspace.   Like me the founder designed most of the site and he lives close to the data.    The closer you are the raw data/traffic the more informed you are about what makes your site work and what people really want. 

I also think that now that myspace is owned by news corp the founders don’t really have that much incentive to make waves and most of myspace focus is now on making money off users  not making them happy.   I think 2007 is going to see a big clash between bebo and myspace with bebo coming out ahead.

5 Responses to “Michael Birch, CEO Bebo.com”

  1. ZF Says:

    I can think of a lot of reasons not to take VC money, but signaling that you are “most likely going to sell the company in the next 3 years” isn’t one of them. Seriously, would a single one of your users give a damn either way whether this is the case?

    If you need cash to expand then whether or not to take VC is a real (sometimes difficult) decision. If you don’t need cash to expand and you are not real confident about the business’ position you should probably sell now rather than later (see Mark Fletcher’s great account of his thinking about this, which led to the sale of Bloglines to Ask). If you are generating cash and are confident about the future I’d say hang on to autonomous control over your options. Too many people who take VC into a strong business discover that where it leads is a ‘no man’s land’ of misaligned incentives and randomized decision making. There are few more frustrating experiences on this earth.

  2. Markus Says:

    What i ment is that everything that is done is geared towards “blowing up the company” and trying to sell it.

  3. Yanook Says:

    Markus,

    I must say I need to give you 2 thumbs up on the great job!

    And you know what! Goes to show how much with alot of determination!

    You can make it happend!

    Congrats and don’t let the Angels Investors get to you!

    Being happy with your vision is most important

    Yanook

    http://gallery1978.blogspot.com

  4. chika Says:

    Does anyone remember what happened to Friendstar?

    Enough said

  5. ben gabriel Says:

    you the man

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