Plaxo, the Sequoia-backed start that transformed itself from a hated spam monster into a mild mannered and interesting business social network, has started a sale process according to a source. They’ve hired an investment bank, Revolution Partners, who are spearheading the sale effort.
We do not know what price Plaxo is looking for. The company has raised $28.3 million to date over four rounds, including $9 million last February. The company had over 15 million users as of September 2006, and their recent integration into Google Open Social has led to a further growth spike.
There were rumors in mid 2007 that Plaxo was being acquired by European competitor Xing. Those rumors were either inaccurate or the deal was never completed.
I have an email in to Plaxo CEO Ben Golub for comment. If I were him, I wouldn’t respond.
Update: User data from John McCrea, VP Marketing at Plaxo:
For our networked address book service, we’re right around 20 million users, plus another 15 million address book accounts hosted through partnerships.
Increasingly, though, we are focused on Pulse as the key driver of active users (and pageviews), and although we are still in beta (and haven’t yet broadly promoted to the address book user base), we’re seeing good month-over-month growth in all the key indicators. With Pulse, we’re at 1 million unique monthly users, up from 250K at the beginning of November. In terms of page views and time spent on the
site, our per-visit numbers appear to be comparable to Facebook (based on data from Compete.com), even though our demographic is much more like LinkedIn’s (professional, 25-50 y/o).