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Bebo founders buy website back for US$849 million less than sale price

Published on Jul 3, 2013 7:24 PM

LONDON, July 03, 2013 (AFP) - The British couple who sold social networking site Bebo for US$850 million (S$1 billion) five years ago have bought back the company for just US$1 million and say they will relaunch it.

Michael Birch and his wife Xochi launched Bebo in 2005 after meeting at university in London and the site became the destination of choice for teenagers to chat and share pictures, attracting 40 million users by 2008.

But as Facebook and Twitter began their rapid rise, Bebo fell out of fashion and by the time it was sold to AOL, analysts were warning that it was vastly overpriced.

AOL sold it on to investment fund Criterion Capital Partners in 2010 for a sum reported to be as low as US$10 million.

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