Tuenti looks like it will go to Telefonica for $99 million

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Back in May we reported a rumor that Telefonica was in talks to acquire Tuenti, the ‘Spanish Facebook’, for €80 million” ($104 million). At least that was the buzz around the Spanish blogosphere. Tuenti vehemently denied it at the time but it looks like the bloggers were right.

According to Spanish news site Expansion, the two sides have “virtually sealed the deal” whereby Telefonica will take 90% of the share capital of Tuenti, valuing the company at around €75 million or close to $99 million. In October 2008, Qualitas Equity Partners paid €9.5 million for 17% of Tuenti, which valued it at €55.88 million.

There is further confirmation from Martin Varsavsky, founder of FON who has been informally advising the company, who repeats the Expansion story and adds that “all shareholders of Tuenti but management sold all their shares to Telefonica.” He also says Tuenti will remained independent. Whether 20-something CEO Zaryn Dentzel stays on remains to be confirmed.

The transaction makes sense. In November 2008 Telefonica Mobiles launched a multi-platform social network, Keteke but this flopped against the mighty Tuenti.

Telefonica needed a way back in to social, so it can’t have missed that Tuenti had launched TuentiSMS with Vodafone, a service for social network addicts, allowing them to receive SMS messages notifying users of profile activity (comments, messages, friend invites).

  • http://www.olpcdesign.com/ $$$$$$$$ MY LOW COST PC $$$$$$$$


    how many users has Tuenti?


  • Eric Tulin

    Congratulations to the tuenti crew! Great job Zaryn!

  • Jonathan

    All of these local Facebook competitors are killing themselves by selling off to big local companies like Telefonica that will just butcher them. It’s essentially going to make Facebook’s life a lot easier.

    Not that I blame the entrepreneurs in question. I’d take the check and get out of the Facebook competition game.

  • Fernando Ardenghi

    Social networks of the “Western World” – except Facebook- : MySpace, Hi5, Friendster, FriendFinder, Bebo, Fotolog, Tuenti, Classmates, FriendsReunited, Tribe, Orkut, Multiply, MeetUp, and others are in decadence, with less traffic than 1 year ago or decaying in traffic because Facebook are killing them.

    This case seems to be different from Bebo when sold to AOL.

    My bet is that Tuenti -in dedadence- has more or less 500,000 active users, the rest had migrated to Facebook.

    Telefónica “would had bought” the valuable database of Tuenti.

    If Telefónica pays USD 92million (Euro 70million) then the cost to acquire a client is USD 184. Telefónica can recover that money in less than one year because those Tuenti’s users are young persons and they can be captive clients of mobile phones with Internet access from Telefónica. Nothing more.

    Fernando Ardenghi.
    Buenos Aires.

    • juanjux

      I Tuenti have more than 500.000 users – more in the order of 8 millions. Virtually all high-schollers here use it, trought Facebook dominates in the over 25 years users market.

  • insider

    The deal was signed last friday july the 30th. It was a tense negotiation that left many people without sleep for a couple of days.

    No more rumors.

  • data

    Tuenti has 8 million users, and 20 billion page views, so their users are quite active and faithful

  • http://ig.nac.io/blog Ignacio

    As a Spaniard, I can confirm that, although facebook is growing fast, tuenti remains the preferred social network among the young people, especially for the youngest (let’s say 15-20), which are not so ‘techie’ but on the other hand are heavy cellphone users. This of course is very interesting for Telefónica.

    The SMS service of tuenti became very popular since the very first moment it was launched. The iPhone app for tuenti has more than 300,000 *users* (not just downloads) which means that the number of 500,000 active users given on a previous comment is clearly underestimated.

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    […] Tuenti looks like it will go to Telefonica for $99 million (eu.techcrunch.com) […]

  • http://techcrunch Laura

    Hola me llamo laura tego casi 14 años vengo de Madrid i soi estudiante en la eso i acabo de empezar me gustaria conocer gente de mi edad i hay suerte chatear con ellos i con ellas. besos

  • http://www.erepublik.com alexis

    congrats to the Tuenti team

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  • http://www.blog.tapirbot.com/?p=10 tapirBOT » Website value: “Spanish Facebook” worth $99 million

    […] Spanish-based social networking site http://www.tuenti.com Tuenti has been acquired by telecoms giant Telefonica in a deal worth around $90 million. Telefonica have purchased 90% of Tuenti’s shares, thus giving the company a value of $99, according to Techcrunch. […]

  • http://www.brandbucket.com Caitlin - BrandBucket

    Not the most easy to pronounce name. Im assuming it sounds like ‘twenty’ when pronounced. We shall see how it goes.

    • juanjux

      That’s correct – if you pronnounce “tuenti” in spanish it sounds like the english pronunciation of “twenty”.

  • http://www.ustillup.com Jack Strawman

    Wow! I’ve never even heard of Tuenti, and I thought I knew about all the prominent social networking sites. That’s incredible. That’s a lot of money. It certainly gives hope to the rest of us who are running our own local social networks.

  • http://www.efletes.com Richard

    Great job Zaryn, congratulations. but Tuenti’s management is going to have a hard time now. Big companies like Telefonica can not compete with fast moving firms like facebook.

  • http://www.blogle.org/2010/08/tuenti-looks-like-it-will-go-to-telefonica-for-99-million/ Tuenti looks like it will go to Telefonica for $99 million | Blogle.org

    […] on eu.techcrunch.com This entry was posted in English, Technology and tagged dentzel, Expansion, facebook, News, […]

  • http://www.spiele-zum-spiele.de/ Spielen

    Yap Congrats, tuenti – but i agree with Richard, beeing a facebook competitor is everything but funny these days.

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    […] many city houses and businesses. Similarly in the last month, Spain’s telecommuncations giant Telefonica has bought a 90% stake in Tuenti for a cool 99 million Euros and has grand plans to expand the service to other countries throughout […]

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