Facebook For Latinos Quepasa Buys myYearbook For $100 Million In Cash And Stock

Quepasa, the Facebook for Latinos has merged with social networking company myYearbook for $100 million, approximately $82 million of hin Quepasa common stock and approximately $18 million in cash.

MyYearbook, which has raised $17 million in funding, is a profitable social network that focuses on younger teenage users. While still smaller than Facebook, myYearbook is seeing over 1 billion page views on mobile platforms and 1.2 billion page views on the web each month. In fact, it is the top web site in the comScore Teens category with more visits, minutes, and pageviews. In 2010, myYearbook generated $23.7 million in revenue, up 53% year-over-year, and EBITDA of $4.9 million, up 315% year-over-year. Quepasa says more than 27 million registered users.

The combined properties will have 70 million registered users, 2.2 million mobile app installs, 11.5 million mobile game installs, and 2.1 million social same installs.

Quepasa CEO, John Abbott says that the acquisition and merger doubles the size of Quepasa’s existing user base, and also could represent a new growth area for Quepasa’s mobile and social games, advertising, and virtual currency. MyYearbook also recently launched a gaming portal.

Following the merger, myYearbook CEO Geoff Cook will serve as Chief Operating Officer of Quepasa Corporation and President of its Consumer Internet Division, and will also join the company’s Board of Directors.

Here’s the note Cook sent to myYearbook employees this morning:

Dear Team,

Today myYearbook signed a “definitive agreement” to merge with Quepasa (QPSA), a publicly traded company. Because it is publicly traded and to limit legal and regulatory concerns, I was not able to personally inform everyone of this ahead of time, as I would have preferred to do, but I do want to let everyone know why I am so excited by this merger and by the opportunity we have to build an enduring, global brand for meeting new people.

Before I get into the logic behind the merger, I want to assure every one of a few important facts:
Your job remains safe. Our intention with this merger is to continue to grow, and grow faster, not to make cuts. Your job is as secure as it was a month ago, a year ago, or in the case of many of you, five years ago. The job postings we have up are staying up. We will continue to aggressively grow.
Our culture isn’t changing. A product-first mindset, a commitment to tackling hard technical projects and getting things live, a culture of mutual respect, dinner for people who stay late, free gym memberships, all-you-can-drink caffeine, company-wide lunches, open-door policies, softball teams with more heart than talent, our location, and all the other little things that make this company great, will not change.
I am not going anywhere. I view this deal as a stepping-stone to building a billion-dollar global brand around social discovery. As President of the Consumer Internet Division and Chief Operating Officer of the combined company, I will have responsibility for both myYearbook.com and Quepasa.com. I will also be joining the Quepasa Board along with 2 other Board members who have a history of supporting myYearbook.
I want to build this company into a billion-dollar brand around social discovery and meeting new people. I believe Quepasa’s large user base in emerging markets, and talented, 40-person social game studio are important pieces of the puzzle that will ensure we are the ones who own meeting new people across the world. I believe this combination is the quickest path to global leadership in social discovery, and I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to build our team, our culture, and ultimately our brand to delight users.

I see this as a doubling-down on our ability to build great products, to monetize, and ultimately to create meaningful relationships among our members. There is a reason we have grown our business profitably while navigating the same waters that capsized Bebo, Myspace, and so many other social networks: each other. We have a team that delivers, and we have a culture that works.

As much promise as I see, this was not an easy decision. I know full well how hard it is to build a $30 million revenue business profitably with over 100 talented people. I realize how hard it is to attract the talent and build the culture we have here. But I also know how hard it is go from where we are now to building an enduring brand that people the world over know and love. And to do that, we need to embrace change. With this deal we will become the public-market leader in social discovery. Now, it’s up to us to continue to deliver.

Support from our Board and investors has made all the difference in helping to grow myYearbook from a few hundred students in Montgomery High School in Skillman, NJ to over 32.7 million registered users today. Terry and Eva Herndon, who many of you may not know, have backed the company from the very beginning and supported my previous company before that. They offered their thoughts on this combination: “As founding funders of two of Geoff’s companies, Eva and I are very excited by the immense growth potential for myYearbook in the Western Hemisphere. We certainly appreciate all that myYearbook’s team have done to bring the company this far this fast and look forward to the creativity still ahead.” Meanwhile, Rick Lewis, our long-time partner from US Venture Partners, an established early-stage VC fund, demonstrates his continued support by agreeing to join the Board of the new company as well.

We know what we’ve built over the last 5 years and how special it is, and I believe we can continue to build on it. Only a small fraction of companies start from nothing and are able to attract venture capital. Of those, only 5-10% have values of $100 million or more. We’re already a couple of standard deviations past the typical startup, now it’s time to go for a few more and believe that we can be truly dominant – that we are as prepared as anyone to create the market for meeting new people in a world increasingly shaped by social, by mobile, and by location.

I don’t consider this an exit or the end. I consider it the end of the beginning, and I believe we have a lot more innovative products to create. I urge anyone who has questions or wants to speak more about this to come see me over the next few weeks and months

There will be company-wide meetings led by Jim in New Hope and Bill in New York this morning. Sometime shortly after that, my hope is we can all get back to business quickly, building cool stuff, and staying focused on the task at hand.


Geoff Cook
CEO, myYearbook