Sabeer Bhatia, the founder of Hotmail, has now given up on another internet business. French business networking site Viadeo has acquired Bhatia-funded social networking website ApnaCircle.com. The financial terms are not disclosed, but the deal is in stock only, according to Yogesh Bansal, co-founder of the Indian networking site.
The French networking site already has operations in China and Mexico and is eyeing other emerging markets. The cash-less deal will enable the registered users of ApnaCircle to be linked with the members of Viadeo.
Bhatia, who shot to fame after developing and selling Hotmail to Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) for $400 million in 1997, has not been able to really make a mark in his future ventures. Arzoo.com, an online real-time problem solving assistance for technical inquiries, was shut down in 2001 after it failed make money.
While ApnaCircle claims to have around 300,000 members in India, Viadeo has over 6.5 million members. The merger will provide Viadeo an opportunity to tap into the knowledge of the local teams. Last year, Private Treaties, the investment arm of the BCCL Group (parent of Times of India newspaper) had picked up a minority stake in ApnaCircle. The company was launched in 2007.
Sabeer Bhatia’s latest two ventures are Layoffgossip.com and Yousalary.com. While Layoffgossip.com gives an anonymous voice to those who have been laid off, Yousalary.com allows people to anonymously compare salaries as well as search for jobs.
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