Friday, January 18, 2008

AOL to buy Where Are You Now (WAYN) rumour: TechCrunch says yes, WAYN says no

Erick Schonfeld at TechCrunch claims to have a solid inside story that AOL is in talks to buy Where Are You Know (WAYN) for $200M. The company reportedly has 9M registered users and is on course to earn $4.5M in revenue this year.

If true confirms my recent post about travel meta-search and social networking being a media business and therefore has a stronger alignment with media companies that OTAs. Is also hot on the heals of the smaller but similarly themed News Corp investment in Asian meta-search company Bezurk.

According to Techcrunch WAYN raised $11 million in 2006 from DFJ Esprit and a gaggle of British entrpreneurs, including founder Brent Hoberman.

Thanks to a loyal reader for sending through. I have been travelling for a number of days and feeling daunted by the number of stories in my RSS reader and email in my inbox.

UPDATE - Thanks to Kevin of Travolution who pointed me to the comments from WAYN spokesperson Annika Erskine in the Techncrunch article denying the rumour outright.


Travolution Blogger said...

this is a funny one as NOBODY apart from techcrunch appears to having any idea about this story, especially the parties involved.

WAYN and AOL are bewildered to say the least, both officially and privately.

of course they may have a decent scoop on their hands and we'll all be feeling silly in a few days/weeks.

but it looks like a non-story at the moment.

Tim Hughes said...

Kevin - surely you are not doubting Techncrunch!!!??? That is blogging heresy.

Travolution Blogger said...

heresy it may be, but when both companies officially deny it and all my sources (some of whom are very close to the situation) say it's hogwash, then i'll reserve judgement.

always happy to be proven wrong, however.

a frightening deal if it's true.

Tim Hughes said...

Kevin - once again you have let good journalism get in the way of a great story...:)

Anonymous said...

Oh wise one.... explain in laymans terms for us brain limited mortals how $4.5m in revenue equates to $200m in sale value????

what accounting model is used... possibly the same one used by MFS ?