Google to Purchase Meebo for $100 Million?
Sources including AllThingsD and VentureBeat are reporting that Google could be on the cusp of purchasing Meebo, a popular social media platform, for the tidy sum of $100 million. Such a deal would represent the biggest acquisition in the tech world since Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion just over one month ago.
Meebo chief Seth Strenberg has yet to comment on acquisition rumors regarding his company, which has been in operation for seven years. Google hasn't commented either, leaving SEO'ers to speculate as to how the purchase would benefit the search engine giant.
Just What is Meebo, Anyway?
Those who know a little about Meebo's history often wonder why the company hasn't enjoyed a lot of mainstream success. Originally launched in 2005, Meebo started as the Meebo Messenger, a browser-based instant messaging program requiring no download or installation process. Meebo Messenger was incredibly useful because it allowed users to chat with people on Yahoo, MSN, AIM and other major instant messaging clients, all from the same program.
The monetization never fell into place, however, and Meebo shifted its focus to social media in 2009 with the Meebo Bar, a tool bar facilitating social sharing for website publishers. Perfect timing, apparently, as the site quickly gained popularity for its easy accessibility and robust advertising options.
The End of Meebo's Financing Woes?
2009 also happened to coincide roughly with the start of the recession, however, and Meebo's monetization troubles continued. The company only raised $25 million on an initial $200 million valuation. In 2010, Meebo raised an additional $27.5 million with the help of investment groups Sequoia Capital and Khosla Ventures.
Although those investors may not be happy with a $100 million purchase price on a company valued twice that at the time of their investment, there's little doubt that Strenberg and his staff are excited by the prospect of an acquisition.
According to VentureBeat, that staff includes about 173 people, including many engineers and many others with marketing and media backgrounds. Here's hoping they fit in just fine at Google, given that the rumors come true.