If that headline looks familiar to you, you’re probably remembering our story about Google offering to buy Path for $100+ million from earlier this year. Path turned that deal down.
About the same time, multiple sources have confirmed, Google was also making a run for Color, the mobile social network founded by Bill Nguyen. This was well before Color launched, and Google was looking at the company’s potential as well as the team. Google offered $200 million for the company, according to our sources.
Color turned down the deal, say our sources. They then raised $41 million in debt and equity capital from Bain, Sequoia Capital and Silicon Valley Bank. That round valued the company at $167 million.
Should Color have taken the Google deal? Absolutely yes. The company has stumbled since launching, has failed to live up to its own hype and has lost founder Peter Pham and Chief Product Officer DJ Patil.
That said, it’s always nice to have the benefit of hindsight. At the time that Google was trying to acquire Color, the company had a killer team, a strong, bold vision and top tier investors willing to pile money into the startup. Entrepreneurs don’t start companies to sell them before they even launch.
With the benefit of hindsight, though…Wow.