Microsoft Spins off Wallop

Wallop, previously a semi-forgotton Microsoft Research “sandbox” social network and photo sharing project, was spun off into a new, independent, venture backed business. Wallop was previously at – the new company is at

The new entity is led by CEO Karl Jacob, a Sun Microsystems and Microsoft veteran. Karl is a seasoned entrepreneur as well – this is his fifth startup (he was a founder or co-founder of On Ramp, Dimension X, Keen (now Ingenio) and Cloudmark). The new entity has raised a Series A round from Bay Partners. Microsoft will retain a “minority stake” with a non-voting board seat.

Not much is being disclosed about Wallop yet, except that it is significantly different than the existing Wallop project. I’ve seen a bit of what they plan to offer, and I’ll say that this is not another “me too” social network offering. And there are a number of unique business model twists that they aren’t announcing yet. The launch is scheduled for this summer. One interesting thing to note: the current Wallop site is all-Flash. hmmm.

Existing beta users will not immediately be affected by the change.