San Francisco based social network Bebo, which recently raised $15 million from Benchmark Capital, rejected a £300 million ($552 million) acquisition offer from British Telecom Group “a few weeks ago”, according to an insider on the transaction. Bebo's asking price? North of $1 billion.
A Benchmark representative wouldn't comment on whether or not the rumor was accurate, but did stay on the phone with me long enough to say that “there has been a lot of interest from a lot of people around Bebo”.
Bebo has been on fire recently, and now has more than 25 million registered users and 3 billion monthly page views. Myspace, for comparison, has 70+ million users and nearly 30 billion monthly page views.
The success of Myspace (controlled by Fox Interactive Media) has led to a series of buyout offers on its competitors. Facebook was rumored to have turned down offers nearing $1 billion from Viacom and Yahoo. It looks like Kleiner's recapitalization of troubled Friendster late last year for a few million dollars may have been a good bet.