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Socialmedian sells to Xing for $7.5 million

Personalized news aggregator gets snapped up in successful exit

Financial trends and news by Bambi Francisco Roizen
December 19, 2008 | Comments (3)
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/5f9

How do you take under $1 million and turn it into $4 million in a year? Ask Jason Goldberg, founder of socialmedian.

European social network, Xing, is buying socialmedian, a personalized news aggregation site, for $7.5 million, about $4 million cash upfront and $3.5 million in an earn out. Liquid Scenarios, our sponsor for Vator Box, predicted the acquisition amount accurately in this Vator Box segment, where Esther Dyson was our guest host evaluating socialmedian.

The announcement almost doesn't come as a surprise as socialmedian founder Jason Goldberg said to me in an earlier interview that he didn't plan on stretching out his tenure at this company for very long. He even seemed to suggest that he'd shut it down, if it didn't gain enough traction. Kudos to him for finding a willing buyer, particularly during these times. (Goldberg's video pitch is embedded in this story.)

What's more, Goldberg just started the company in January 2008.

Here's what Goldberg had to say when I asked him, Why now?

"Regarding why now, it was a great fit. Socialmedian delivers the news, filtered by your network. Xing has a network. I had to make a choice as to whether spending the next 2 years try to grow a network of our own or linking up with someone who has one. I'm also really excited to help take Xing to the next level with our sticky and interactive features," he said, in an email.

The deal does mark a successful exit for Goldberg, who had raised roughly $600,000 in seed funding for socialmedian. 

Here's additional information from Goldberg, in an email blast:

"This is great news for socialmedian's members as XING is committed to growing and developing socialmedian both as a standalone service as well launching integrated socialmedian services on XING, one of the leading online business networks in the world.

The entire socialmedian team will be joining XING as part of the acquisition.  I will be relocating to Hamburg, where I will lead up a major new initiative for XING, the XING Application Platform.  In this new role, in addition to strengthening and enhancing the socialmedian service, I will also be responsible for managing global partnerships for application developers and content providers to connect with the XING network.

This is an awesome development for socialmedian. socialmedian delivers the news, filtered by your network.  XING is one of the leading global online networks and is rapidly growing around the world with nearly 7 million members, up from 4.8 million in 2007.  Together, socialmedian & XING will connect people with the people, information, and resources they need to get their jobs done, follow their interests, and pursue their passions."


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Comments

Ezra Roizen
Ezra Roizen, on December 19, 2008

There is a lot to be learned for this exit. A great example of going the non-VC route, building a nice product, and finding a great acquisition/growth partner. Jason gets an A+. He kept his hurdle low, burn manageable and options open.


Comment_gbg
Michael Edwards, on December 19, 2008

I just read the news re: the Socialmedian exit and thought it was exciting that Vator.tv and Liquid Scenarios predicted the exact valuation they were bought out for...

(a quick quote from our analysis):
USING STUMBLEUPON'S $75M EXIT TO EBAY AT ABOUT A 10:1 UNIQUE VISITOR RATIO TO SOCIALMEDIAN WE THINK SOCIALMEDIAN IS WORTH **$7.5M TODAY** AND CAN BUILD VALUE THROUGHOUT THE NEXT YEAR TOWARDS A $35M EXIT.


Mark Evans
Mark Evans, on December 24, 2008

Congrats on Liquid Scenarios accurately predicting that Socialmedian could be acquired for $7.5 million.


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