Meebo funded by Sequoia

December 16, 2005

Well, straight from the meebo’s mouth: they’ve joined the Sequoia family 🙂

Welcome! We’re like siblings now… or maybe significant others 😛

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3 Responses to “Meebo funded by Sequoia”

  1. Adam Says:

    I wish I had even a TINY inkling of how this could possibly be monetized. If I were a betting man, I’d suggest that — all other claims aside — the primary investment impetus was an assumption that Meebo’ll get acquired by one of the Big Guys in 8-12 months.

    I mean, it’s like del.icio.us. Did anyone POSSIBLY think that that standalone service was gonna make money, particularly given the uber-hip I’m-not-tolerating-ads independegeek demographic?

    Forgive my cynicism, and hey, this isn’t to denigrate any of the fine (over)work the Meebo team is putting in. I haven’t used it much, but some of my friends have found the service to be amazingly useful.

  2. markjen Says:

    Hey Adam – I think there are more monetization options than at first glace. At the very least, they are pushing 250k logins and 7M page views a day. Plus, their growth rate is astounding.

    They’ve got some creative ideas up their sleeves, but if push came to shove, they could always just turn on some contextual ads 🙂

  3. Adam Says:

    Mark,

    Unless I’m mistaken, there are exactly four ways for Meebo (and, for that matter, any company) to make money:

    1) Ask for donations.
    I have no doubt many grateful folks would contribute, but I can’t see that paying the bills, much less any salaries.

    2) Put up ads.
    Seriously, can you forsee there being any tempting contextual ads (chats are not even as focused as a typical e-mail, IMHO) or people taking the time out of their chats to click on (much less actually view) an ad?

    3) Charge users
    Given much of the Meebo user demographic apparently being school kids, military folks, etc… well, these folks don’t have a ton of disposable income. And given the free-ness of IM’ing (including Trillian, etc.), would many people really pay for this?

    4) Get bought out
    In one way, I could imagine a Goodyear-style buyout by AOL, Microsoft, or Yahoo. That is to say, one of those companies buying out Meebo, then dismantling it, just like Goodyear + the tire and oil companies did to the Los Angeles trolley lines many decades ago.

    But that’d make for a huge black eye, and I can’t imagine that any of the companies would really want to risk that sort of bad PR. So perhaps Google or another company will buy them out and actually use their technology.

    In fact, I do firmly believe #4 is the most likely. HOWEVER, it’s also my least favorite option, personally.

    I’m tired of small companies grooming themselves to be bought out, and then being bought out. It’s so boring, so unimaginative.

    Personally, I’d rather consumers be actually willing to pony up cash for compelling content and services. I pay for Salon, Flickr, and other sites online, for instance, and admittedly in a bit of holier-than-thouness, I wish others would be less stingy so not *EVERY* company out there had to depend upon ads or being bought out.


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