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史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客

互联网风投与管理者,创业企业是谷歌Adsense概念创造者之一

 
 
 

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我是美国风投创始人和管理合作伙伴,曾担任过Jupiter Media公司VP,Paul Kagan Associates机构分析师,我的创业企业Applied Semantics2003年被谷歌收购,是谷歌Adsense概念创造者之一。现着重投资互联网领域,对中国互联网和网络新媒体有深刻研究。我写的《零重力1.0》和《零重力2.0》成为彭博社最畅销书籍,比尔盖茨、杨致远也读过我写的商业报告。在中国,我给网易科技独家供稿。hapn.cool try it!

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Facebook会收购Friendster?  

2009-07-30 23:59:39|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

Facebook会收购Friendster?若真是如此,收购价格会是多少?1亿美元?

 

据报道,Friendster—曾经在美国红极一时,现在依然在一些亚洲国家大红大紫的社交网络正待出售。

Facebook会收购Friendster? - Steve Harmon  - 史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客

 

 曾几何时,在遥远的社交网络的国度里,Friendster乃是新媒体的霸主。Friendster2003年受欢迎的程度丝毫不亚于2009年的Facebook。比如,2003年与2004年,美国总统候选人就注册了Friendster账户,以期为其总统竞选添砖加瓦。

Facebook会收购Friendster? - Steve Harmon  - 史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客

 

其中不乏戈尔以及脾气暴躁的霍华德·迪安等人。民主党候选人约翰·“我的妻子做番茄酱”·凯利当时则在自己的Friendster网页上面写到:“虽然(我的妻子)特蕾莎禁令在先,我就是喜欢吃Hostess的巧克力纸托蛋糕。”

 早期的社交网络确实有些令人耳目一新的魔力。不过,这多少有点类似如今的Facebook以及Twitter(甚至任何社交网络)。

Facebook会收购Friendster? - Steve Harmon  - 史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客

 2003年,Google曾一度想以三千万美元在Google新股上市之前购买Friendster。这个价格在如今相当于数百亿美元。不过Friendster的董事会拒绝了收购,因为他们认为Friendster不但自己有能力上市,而且可以大赚几十亿美元。

 

这样的故事是不是很熟?就跟Facebook最近滔滔不绝的言论如出一辙。

 

1996年四月雅虎上市的时候,我是仅有的几位评估分析人员之一。自那以后,我所评估的大大小小网络公司逾千家。因此,说到Friendster待售,我自然想要说说其身价究竟几何。在评估当中,有一点一定切记:价值高低更多取决于买家,而非卖家。买家的出价才是最终的价值。因此,评估人员只能以比较个案(相类似的公司)为参考进行评估工作。

 

有些人以Facebook最近的估价100亿美元为标准。然而,由于Facebook的发展轨道以及市场与Friendster迥然不同,如此估价不甚妥当。就好比以法拉利为标准来评价Yugo车,因为它们都是四轮两门。

Facebook会收购Friendster? - Steve Harmon  - 史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客

 

Facebook会收购Friendster? - Steve Harmon  - 史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客

 

相反,我看重的是公司本身及其前景。Friendster用户数量众多,据称其全球用户过亿。其中7500万为亚洲用户。而挑战就是,这些7500万用户中绝大部分于菲律宾,马来西亚和新加坡。这些国家网络广告以及电子商务不占优势,难以偿付Friendster的各项支出。据称,Friendster浏览量为每天5亿,并且每天都注册10万名新用户。

 

而底线在于:我认为,Friendster唯一有价值地方在于Facebook可以利用它快速渗透至亚洲的部分市场。除了Facebook,市场上再没有其他的“自然”买家。看看,AOL收购Bebo之后,日子并不好过。

 

我认为,为了吸引FacebookFriendster需要回答两个问题:在营销以及在进入亚洲市场的用时上,Friendster怎样才能助Facebook一臂之力?Friendster7500万亚洲用户对Facebook而言有何价值?

 

考虑到当前Facebook的估价为100亿美元,问题就在于,Facebook愿意出多少钱来收购Friendster?同时还要考虑到Facebook排位靠前。假设Facebook可以通过广告,付费服务,电子商务以及虚拟产品获得巨额利润(正如中国诸多社交网一样),那么为了得到Facebook的排位,Friendster应该也愿意接受降低收购价格。

 

我认为,如果Facebook想在股票交易中收购Friendster,后者的价格大致为1亿美元。

  Facebook会收购Friendster? - Steve Harmon  - 史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客

 

任何社交网络所面对的最大挑战都是:各种“关系”以及用户所创作的图文价值究竟如何?通常Facebook这类的网络都没能为用户提供更加深层的交流,而亚洲的社交网络在很多方面都做得更好。(刘可微/编译)

 

注:本文为哈蒙授权网易科技独家发布,转载请注明出处。

英文原文:

Will Facebook Buy Friendster? If So, What Price? $100 Million?

Former king of social networks in the U.S. and current king in parts of Asia -- Friendster -- is reportedly for sale.

Facebook会收购Friendster? - Steve Harmon  - 史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客

A long time ago in a social network galaxy far, far away there lived a social network called Friendster who was king of the new media. Friendster was as popular in 2003 as Facebook is in 2009, so popular in the United States in 2003 and 2004, for example, that U.S. presidential candidates created their user profiles on it to promote their run for office.

 

Facebook会收购Friendster? - Steve Harmon  - 史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客
Names like Al Gore and everyone's favorite temper tantrum thrower Howard Dean.  Democratic party nominee John "my wife makes ketchup" Kerry wrote on his Friendster profile back then:  "I love Hostess chocolate cupcakes, although [my wife] Teresa tries to limit them."

Facebook会收购Friendster? - Steve Harmon  - 史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客

Exciting stuff from the early days of social networking. Wait a minute, kind of sounds like the dribble being shared on Facebook and Twitter (or any social media) today.

At one point in 2003 Google was going to acquire Friendster for $30 million in pre-IPO Google stock. Today it would be valued in the tens of billions $. But the Friendster board said no, thinking Friendster could go public itself and be a multi-billion dollar winner.

Sound familiar? same sort of spiel Facebook is talking about today.

When Yahoo went public in April 1996 I was one of the only analysts at the time to value it. Since then I've done valuations for well over one thousand Internet companies of every size. So with Friendster being for sale I wanted to share with you what it could be valued at. The one thing to remember in any valuation is that something is valued by buyers more than sellers. What an acquirer would pay is ultimately the value. So anyone doing valuation work can only come up with comparables (companies like them) to use as a guide.

Some casual observers have used Facebook's recent $10 billion valuation as a benchmark. However, this is totally inaccurate since Facebook is in a different trajectory and market place than Friendster. It's like valuing a Yugo based on a Ferrari with the observation: both have 4 wheels and 2 doors.

Facebook会收购Friendster? - Steve Harmon  - 史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客

Facebook会收购Friendster? - Steve Harmon  - 史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客

Instead, I look at the individual company and its prospects as an independent concern. Friendster's overall numbers are impressive: a reported 100 million users worldwide. About 75 million of those are in Asia. The challenge is that most of those 75 million are in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore -- not countries with a lot of online advertising or ecommerce to pay Friendster's bills. Friendster is reported to have about 500 million daily page views and 100,000 new members joining daily.

Here's the bottom line: Friendster is only valuable in my opinion as a quick way for Facebook to dominate parts of Asia. That's it. Other than Facebook there's no "natural" buyer out there. Remember, AOL bombed with buying Bebo.

To be attractive to Facebook I think Friendster has to answer two questions: what can Friendster save Facebook in marketing and time to market for Asia? What are Friendster's 75 million Asian users worth to Facebook?

Given Facebook's recent $10 billion valuation round the question for Facebook is how much of Facebook stock would it be willing to part with to acquire Friendster? You also have to count the upside is Facebook stock. Assuming Facebook can generate strong revenue from ads, payment services, ecommerce, virtual goods (like many Chinese networking sites) then Friendster should be willing to accept a lower deal price in order to get the upside in Facebook stock.

My estimated value for Friendster is $100 million if Facebook were to buy it in a stock transaction.

Facebook会收购Friendster? - Steve Harmon  - 史蒂夫·哈蒙独家中文博客

The key challenge for any social network is how valuable are "connections" and the content people create? For the most part, sites like Facebook have failed to offer users more than just surface-level interaction. In many ways Asian social sites are ahead.

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