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Web 3.0 & Walt Disney (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, Nov 8th 2007

Acquisition Targets

Disney has made quite a few acquisitions in the past. Recently it acquired Club Penguin, a kid-friendly virtual world where children can play games, have fun and interact with each other. The Company is evaluating various other opportunities and here we will take a look at the possible acquisition targets for Disney.

Disney is widely popular among kids. Presumably, the Company would acquire more kids focused properties. One that I really like is European startup Stardoll, a site where girls 9-17 play with paper-doll dress-ups. It has 10 million registered users, according to Comscore, and its investors include Sequoia Capital and Index Ventures. Advertisers include major fashion brands like Donna Karan, LVMH and Sephora. Now, that’s quite an achievement, and its highly targeted audience and absolute community engagement would do wonders for Disney. In fact, one could extrapolate the Stardoll idea into incorporating concepts like dressing Little Mermaid or Sleeping Beauty!

Disney could also consider acquisitions in the in the teen-focused social networking space. The possible acquisition targets could be Xanga, hi5, Tagged, and Piczo. Xanga.com is a popular blogging and social networking site.

Tagged has 30 million registered users, 10 million unique visitors per month and an average user spends over 20 minutes per day. Tagged is now generating 1 billion monthly page views (about half of what MySpace does in a day). The site has raised $7 million in August 2006 in venture capital funding led by Mayfield Fund. Tagged is profitable and is getting serious about revenue growth. The $600k/month they currently generate in revenues comes mostly from a search deal with Ask.com and low CPM display ads.

San Francisco based social networking site Hi5 has raised $20 million in a new round of funding led by Mohr Davidow Ventures. According to Alexa, Hi5 is now ranked as the 11th most popular site online above Facebook at 13th. The site reports 30 million members and 200 million pageviews/day, making it one of the largest players. As of December 2006, Hi5 claimed to have 50 million registered users. The age bias of Hi5 is less concentrated on the teen demographics, although, by definition, all social networking has a younger age bias.

Piczo, allow teens worldwide to creatively express themselves, build personal communities, and share ideas and experiences with their friends in a safe online environment. Piczo has grown to roughly 12 million monthly unique visitors and over a billion monthly page views solely through the viral efforts of loyal members. In Jan 2007 the Company raised $11 million in its third round, led by new investors U.S. Venture Partners (USVP) and Mangrove Capital Partners with existing backers Sierra Ventures and Catamount Ventures. Piczo has raised a total of $18 million.

On the online sports front the Company could consider acquiring social networks revolving around sports and fantasy gaming sites like be Yardbarker, PicksPal, Takkle, BallHype, etc. all of which have very good community features.

(To Be Continued)

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

This segment is part 4 in the series : Web 3.0 & Walt Disney
1 2 3 4 5

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