AOL turns $400 million into less than half that!
How do you turn $400 million into half as much?
Simple: you run America Online corporation.
The much-hated mass-mailer of floppies and CD’s in the 90′s bought instant messenger service ICQ.com in 1996 for a whopping $400 million dollars.
Around the same time Microsoft spent another $500 million to buy Hotmail.com but at least they still own the domain and service.
AOL on the other hand has just sold ICQ for $187 million dollars, less than half of what it paid to acquire it 14 years ago.
That’s not good, AOL. The devaluation does not match the shrinking rate of AOL’s users however, which are currently estimated at 5 million.
So who is the mystery buyer of ICQ?
Russian giant, Digital Sky Technologies – DST for short – which also owns a stake in Facebook valued at $100 million dollars – that’s who. They also spent $180 million dollars to acquire games developer Zygna, makers of popular online games such as Farmville and Mafia Wars.
That’s a lot of money, folks.
In March, DST offered to acquire Chatroulette.com from its 17 year old Russian developer but the young man then turned his venture-capitalist quest towards the Silicon Valley.
Looks like DST has now hit F9 on Chatroulette; with all the traffic and resources DST has in its possession they will most likely create their own Chatroulette clone!