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It’s Buy ByIndia or Bye ByIndia…the site which was acquired by Web2Corp in August 2006 is on the block, up for sale on ebay, here. Is this India’s first portal auction? I’m not sure…the minimum bid for site starts at $500,000 (around Rs. 2 crores), and the auction closes on Feb 29th. There’s an alexa comparison with AOL.in, MSN India, Oneindia.in and Sify on the auction page, but contentSutra readers should bear in mind that Alexa isn’t entirely reliable. ByIndia was launched primarily as a search engine (they’ve compared themselves to Guruji in the sales pitch here), and claimed to be India’s Baidu. They later evolved into a social networking and search site.
But why is Web2 Corp selling what it claims to be “India’s leading social networking site and search engine”? According to the site: “Web2 Corp’s $5M funding for ByIndia.com didn’t materialize due to its lenders fallout with real estate markets, and the company can not afford to properly market or support the growth of the web site.” William Mobley, CEO of Web2 Corp says that the company is “moving away from developing large branded portals with ad supported revenue models to direct sales of its commercial applications, and holding on to ByIndia.com doesn’t make sense for us.” [via release and StartupDunia]
So is the bloom off the Social Networking Boom? It also appears that social networking site SaffronConnect has shut down. Here’s a video of the SaffronConnect presentation (thanks alertman) at the first Proto.in. A fairly large number of social networking sites were launched last year, and I’m wondering if any others have shut down since. Do let us know in the comments, and we’ll add to the list.