Viacom + Bebo = bad fit
The FT is reporting that Bebo's founder Michael Birch has wispered the name Viacom as a potential buyer.
Viacom = huge US-centric media company.
Bebo = massive UK/IRE social network with decent US traction.
That's not the right fit, if you ask me.
Viacom can't monetize Bebo as well as a UK or global media company could, and there are much better options in the USA for Viacom should they be in the market for a social network. Facebook comes to mind, but there are plenty of others.
Bebo's demographics don't mesh too well with Viacom, either.
If Viacom has (finally) decided to shed their red white and blue business model, this is not the right place to start. Social networks are unfamiliar territory for them to begin with, and the last thing they need would be to contend with geo-cultural problems on top of it all. Sports and finance would be much easier routes to take.
Bebo would get nothing but cash, and from all appearances, there is plenty of it out there. They need a partner, not a bank.
Birch is back home in London at the moment, and I'm sure that even though he claims not to be in any rush to sell the company, he and Barry Maloney (Bebo board member who led the round for Benchmark) are meeting with more than just journalists from the FT ...
Discussion: PaidContent, Om, and e-consultancy.
Technorati Tags: social.networks, startups, bebo
Tuesday, August 08, 2006