Sorry, readers…I know it has been a while but I have been hard at work on another project related to YellowBot. Stay tuned to find out more about what that is…In the meantime, I’m hoping I can resume blogging regularly…
So I was looking at the Clearspring acquisition of AddThis.
AddThis is 2 years old and provides a bookmarking widget that you must have seen all over the place (see the “Bookmark” button at the bottom of this post). The AddThis homepage boasts “served 20 billion times per month” and lists the following as “Clients & Partners:”
TIME, Oracle, TechCrunch, Freewebs, Entertainment Weekly, Topix, Lonely Planet, MySpace, PGA Tour, Tower Records, Squidoo, Zappos, FOX, ABC, CBS, Glamour, WebMD, American Idol, HitsLink, Widgetbox, Template Monster, GetAFreelancer, ReadWriteWeb, Brothersoft, E! Online, iGuard
AddThis widgets/Links are everywhere. It’s no surprise it is a pagerank 9!
When Clearspring, the widget company, acquired them, do you think that discussion came up? Cleaspring increased its reach online but how many visitors, as a ratio of its overall traffic, actually go to the homepage? Users see the widget, some click on a link and are redirected to the appropriate bookmarking service. Site owners might log in to their account to see traffic and statistics. In any case, I’m not sure what Clearspring paid for the acquisition but it was probably a smart buy considering its popularity and traffic levels.
But Ted Leonsis, chairman of the board at Clearspring, and CEO Hooman Radfar said revenue would come via advertising and, eventually, valuable data analytics the services collect about Web behavior.
Currently, said Leonsis, AddThis has negligible revenue and Clearspring has about $10 million in annual sales. Neither is currently profitable.
Clearspring has about 100 employees and AddThis has a handful. I have not seen any articles about AddThis getting funded and Clearsping has received $35 million.
ShareThis is a similar service that some people like better because it also allows sharing via email (in addition to other services). It’s currently a pagerank 7 and has been funded, receiving a total of $21 million.
So what would you have paid to acquire AddThis (with a pagerank 9, even if they lost some traffic over the last few months) and put your link(s) at the bottom of their page?