Blog Post

Xing-Plaxo: No Deal

Updated: TechCrunch reports that German social network Xing might be in talks to acquire Plaxo, the address book updating web service that many dub as an early iteration of a social network. My sources are telling me that there is no deal and all talk instead of an acquisition is just that talk. Plaxo is not in “play.” The two companies might have new announcements be announcing some sort of a business alliance, next week, independent of each other. dealsthat would also be the first foray for Xing in the US. Lars Hinrich, CEO of Xing declined to comment on the rumors, as did Ben Golub, CEO of Plaxo. (He is addressing this on his blog as well.)

Plaxo is backed by Sequoia Capital, just as Xing-rival, LinkedIn. Xing, LinkedIn and Plaxo share one common trait – they are social networking utilities that target the business users. We will keep you posted on any developments, as find out more details.

Disclosure: We had organized an event in Fall 2006 that was sponsored by Xing.

10 Responses to “Xing-Plaxo: No Deal”

  1. It’s not Plaxo – it’s ZoomInfo:

    Hamburg, June 14 th 2007 – OPEN Business Club AG (ISIN: DE000XNG8888),
    operator of XING – a leading international business networking platform
    -will co-operate with the US company Zoom Information Inc.
    ( ZoomInfo is a business information search engine that
    indexes the Business Web to quickly find information about industries,
    companies and people. The partnership will provide XING’s 2 million-plus
    members with immediate access to profiles on nearly 36 million business
    people and 3.8 million companies directly from the XING platform.
    Furthermore, XING Premium Members will have the ability to contact over 18
    million professionals directly and securely. ZoomInfo’s 4.5 million unique
    monthly visitors will also be able to join XING’s business network directly
    with a simple two-click process. The integration between XING’s platform
    and ZoomInfo’s search engine is planned to go live in the fall of 2007. The
    entry into the US market is another step in the framework of the announced
    international expansion strategy of OPEN Business Club AG. The cooperation
    agreement with ZoomInfo represents the company’s first in North America.

  2. And Lars Hinrichs, Xing’s CEO is known to be higly cost-concious. Few people that know him would believe that he’d spend so much money for something like Plaxo

  3. I believe, 250 mio $ is by far too much. Xing has raised 55 mio € which is equal to 73 mio $. It’s unlikely that they will borrow money and leverage the company. By the way, what’s Plaxo’s real traffic/usage? Alexa’s data look strange compared to the number of users they have.
    Bye for now,

  4. It’s funny to see how your text looks totally different after the makeover. Not much of a story left.

    I personally enjoy how Plaxo and Xing maintain my contacts up to date. It was very helpful recently when I organized our school anniversary and contacted the old friends.

    A joint application would be even more useful.

  5. I would be disappointed if there is going to be a takeover or sale of Plaxo to Xing. Plaxo recently established a link with LinkedIn where users of both services could effectively merge their contacts in Plaxo. A Deal with Xing could well mean the end of that link.

    It would probably make more sense for Xing to do a similar deal with Plaxo and establish a link between the two services for users of the two services.

  6. It would be better for them to simply make an alliance for now, and see what works and what makes strategic sense for them to buy. I think Plaxo has worked hard to overcome some of their initial problems and actually has become quite useful. Will keep you guys posted.

  7. Martin Lawrence

    Would make a lot of sense. Xing has only one option to expand to the US: buy into or ally with an existing business network. If such a cooperation works out well for both sides, a merger would be best for both.