Path said to be looking to unload its social network

The company may be selling off its original app to put its focus on Talk messenger app instead

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
April 22, 2015
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After a rough 2013 social network Path finally found its foot last year with the launch of its standalone messsaging app, called Path Talk. Now it tooks like that might be the direction the entire company will be moving toward going forward.

The company is looking to sell off its original social networking app, according to a report out from ReCode on Tuesday. And the buyer could be Daum Kakao, the company behind South Korean messaging app KakaoTalk.

From Daum Kakao's perspective, buying Path would allow it to gain traction in Indonesia, where the Path app is extremely popular. According to ReCode, the majority of Path's 30 million active users live in the country.

Interestingly, last year, when Path raised $25 million, the round was led by Bakrie Global Group, an Indonesian conglomerate. At the time it was said that the company was specificially looking toward Asia as a market for potential growth, which is why Path took the investment from Bakrie.

It seems like that move has paid off handsomely.

For Path, meanwhile, getting rid of its social network identity would allow it to put all of its focus on Talk, which has plenty of competition for mobile messaging users in Asia, with companies like Line, WhatApp and WeChat dominating in different areas of the region.

It would also allow the company to put some of its less savory news behind it once and for all. The app, which launched in 2010 as a photo-sharing serviced, but chose to relaunch in November 2011, refocusing on other aspects of social sharing, including videos, messaging, songs and geolocation.

Path built its network around exclusivity; it only allows users to have a maximum of 150 friends. The limitation is meant to foster greater connections between people, and to encourage the sharing of more personal information. The idea is that you will only choose the people you are closest to, and will feel more comfortable telling those people more personal things about yourself. It is a more personal kind of social network.

Things never really worked out, though, at least not in the United States. Other scial networks began surpassing it and, In 2013 alone, Path was fined by the FTC for privacy violations, was forced to lay off 20% of its staff and lost two of its key staff members, both its CTO and its head of business.

Through it all, Path was always popular with venture capitalists. It raised over $75 million, from investors that have included  Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, Insight Venture Partners, Redpoint Venture Partners, First Round Capital, Jerry Murdock , Sir Richard Branson, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Index Ventures, Mark Pincus, Yuri Milner and Allen & Company.

VatorNews has attempted to confirm the report with Path. We will update this story if we learn more.

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