If it’s been a while since you last checked that old Hotmail account (you know, the one with the embarrassing screen name,) it’s unlikely you’ve heard about hi5 or Tagged recently.
Today’s news, however, are a reminder that both platforms are actually still alive and kicking: New Hope, Pa.-based social media company MeetMe became the owner of both those networks with the purchase of their parent company, San Francisco-based mobile app design studio if(we), for $60 million in cash.
According to a press release, the company will fund the acquisition using cash on hand, cash from operations and “other sources of financing available to MeetMe, including a $30 million bank loan from J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. associated with the acquisition.”
All brands are expected to remain separate, and if(we) will retain its West Coast HQ. CEO Dash Gopinath will join the transition team for one year after the sale.
MeetMe offered 87 of if(we)’s 100 employees job offers, said MeetMe’s VP of brand strategy Catherine Cook. It’s not clear how many took the offers. Thirteen positions were identified as overlapping and nine transitional people were identified to assist for 3-6 months.
“The product and engineering teams were largely not impacted,” Cook said. “We expect to continue to grow our combined team from here, improving our strengths in data, search, and other areas.”
So why the move to acquire the studio? Since social media is a numbers game, the jump in monthly active users seems to be the driving force: the company will now be able to reach a network of 10.6 million mobile monthly active users.
“Their mobile apps are experiencing significant revenue growth and we expect that to accelerate in 2017 as we introduce our best practices around engagement and monetization,” said CEO Geoff Cook in a statement. “I am excited by the opportunity to work closely with if(we)’s talented team to accelerate growth and engagement across our portfolio of brands, which are aimed at meeting the universal need for human connection.”
The firm recently added a seat to its Board of Directors, tapping First Round Capital’s Chris Fralic to fill it.
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