Teen social network myYearbook sold for US$100m

21 Jul 2011

MyYearbook.com, a social network for teens, has been acquired by Latino social network Quepasa.com for US$100m. The site was set up six years ago by then-teens Catherine and David Cook.

The acquisition makes multi-millionaires of the siblings – Catherine Cook is only 21.

Quepasa will pay US$82m in stock and US$18m in cash to fund the acquisition.

The deal, which requires shareholder approval, will close in the fourth quarter.

Combined, Quepasa and myYearbook will have annual revenues of US$33.6m and estimated profits of US$5.9m.

“With this merger, we intend to create nothing less than the public market leader in social discovery,” noted Quepasa CEO John Abbott. “Combination with myYearbook nearly doubles the size of Quepasa’s existing user base while positioning the new company for significantly higher growth in mobile and social games, advertising, and virtual currency.

“The myYearbook team is product-oriented and hungry to continue building innovative products at the convergence of social and mobile. We expect the scale of this combination to enable a new class of investor in Quepasa. We believe myYearbook’s proven track record in monetisation and engagement will fuel significant future growth.”

Over the past 12 months, myYearbook has experienced rapid growth in users and in mobile traffic. With more than 1bn page views on mobile platforms and 1.2bn page views on the web each month, myYearbook is one of the largest media properties in the US.

It is also the No 1 website in the comScore Teens category, with more visits, minutes and page views than any other site in the category. By emphasising social discovery, focusing on the people users want to know rather than the people they already know, the service has built a large and growing user base, especially in the teen and young adult demographic. In 2010, myYearbook generated US$23.7m in revenue, up 53pc year-over-year, and EBITDA of $4.9m, up 315pc year-over-year.

“We are thrilled to bring our vision of social discovery to a global audience through combination with Quepasa,” noted Geoff Cook, CEO of myYearbook, father of David and Catherine.

“Meeting new people is now — and has always been — one of the internet’s core activities. This combination creates the scale needed to build the No 1 player in social discovery. What excites me most about this opportunity is applying myYearbook’s platform for monetisation and engagement to Quepasa’s fast-growing markets while also doubling the size of our development team to execute against an aggressive product pipeline focused on social, mobile and virtual currency.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years