Rumors of Microsoft Buying a Small Stake in Facebook

So it looks like Facebook’s hit the $10b mark earlier than many people’s predictions.  There was much talk of a $10b+ IPO in 2008 or 2009, but the rumored MSFT move makes that look like an impossibly modest target.

Let me go on the record:  At $10b, Facebook is still a good deal for Microsoft.

Take a look at these numbers from Inside Facebook:

  • Facebook now has more than 42 million active users (double the
    number one year ago when it opened up registration and growing at more
    than 200,000 per day since January)
  • More than half of Facebook users are outside of college (85 percent of US college students still use Facebook)
  • More than half of active users return daily (users spend an average of 20 minutes on the site per day)
  • Facebook is the top photo sharing application on the Web
  • There are more than 6 million active user groups on the site
  • More than 80% of Facebook members have used at least one application built on the Facebook Platform

The price is $250 per active user.  This is an audience belonging to the weathiest segment in the world, wiy 100% YoY growth. At 20 minutes a day, you have unprecedented attention.  Plus you know who they know and talk to.  At least $20m of those users, share with you more than you they share with Google.  So, you also have intention information.

If the buyer will not know how to generate cash from this trove of potential revenues, it will be due to their own incompetence.

I presume MSFT will try to get some options for enlarging their stake in their deal.  Facebook has been a tough negotiator, but if they do, I’ll bet that those options will get exercised.

Finally, Barış is talking about the largest venture deals ever:

1  Chorum Technologies Richardson, TX Communications & Networks: Fiberoptic Equipment & Photonics Out of Business
2  CoSine Communications Redwood City, CA Communications & Networks: Connectivity Products Publicly-held
3  Internet Brands El Segundo, CA Media/Content/Info.: Media, Content & Information  In IPO Registration
4  Tellium Oceanport, NJ Communications & Networks: Fiberoptic Equipment & Photonics Publicly-held
5  TradeOut.com Valhalla, NY Cons/Bus Services: Business Services (Not Financial) Out of Business
6  Zhone Technologies Oakland, CA Communications & Networks: Connectivity Products Acquired/Merged

If we count this prospective Facebook deal a venture deal (I am not sure I would – I think there’s much less growth capital needs, and much more strategic direction involved), it easily tops this list. Interestingly, 4 of the 6 deals above are infrastructure deals.  I have always seen Facebook as a true technology company – one that is installing a social infrastructure over the pipes of the internet.

This is really interesting to watch.

One thought on “Rumors of Microsoft Buying a Small Stake in Facebook

  1. The Facebook numbers

    Cem has numbers about the real size of Facebook – astonishing! * Facebook now has more than 42 million active users (double the number one year ago when it opened up registration and growing at more than 200,000 per day…

    Like

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