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Net pioneer Michael Birch buys back $850m Bebo for just $1m

Michael Birch, the internet and social media pioneer who set up Bebo in 2005 and reached a peak of 40m UK monthly users alone three years later before selling it to AOL for an overpriced $850m, has agreed to buy the company back for just $1m.

Bebo has only 420,000 unique users as of May this year according to comScore and has been haemorrhaging users and money since AOL’s takeover.

In June 2010 Criterion Capital Partners purchased Bebo’s assets for as little as $2.5m, with an estimate of $10m maximum, after AOL decided to exist its failed venture. The firm brought Michael Birch on board as a strategic adviser soon after and have now sold what’s left of the social media entity to its founder.