Quepasa, the New Hope, PA-based parent of popular social media website myYearbook, held a conference call yesterday to introduce new branding for its website properties. myYearbook will become MeetMe by July, and the conversion will also occur on its Quepasa site (popular mostly in Latin America) later in the year. MeetMe.com is up, though right now it just contains some of the slides from yesterday's presentation. Also, Quepasa reportedly paid $450,000 to acquire the Meet.me domain.
Quepasa acquired myYearbook last year for $100 million, primarily in stock. myYearbook was the bigger fish, however, and the acquisition was probably structured the way it was (rather than the other way around) because Quepasa offered a pre-existing publicly traded vehicle (NYSEAMEX:QPSA). Quepasa also provided a platform for expanding internationally as well as into other languages (Spanish & Portuguese right now). Quepasa today claims 78 milion registered users, about half with myYearbook and half with Quepasa, though myYearbook generates about three quarters of the revenue. The company will also change its ticker symbol to MEET over the summer.
Though Quepasa's top management is very capable, I thought they overreached somewhat in comparing themselves to three companies: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. While competitive with two of these in page views, they lag considerably in terms of unique monthly visitors and monetization. I doubt Twitter's page view stats are directly comparable since you don't navigate through Twitter page by page. While Facebook is said to be valued at $100 billion, LinkedIn at $10 biilion according to its current stock price and Twitter reportedly worth several billion, Quepasa's present market cap is less than $150 million. I get the point that management is talking about potential rather than the present, but I still find it to be a bit of a stretch. My impression of Quepasa is that it has a relatively small (about 4 million uniques per month) core of very heavy users who generate a lot of page views, but the key is to grow that base. Quepasa positions itself relative to these megaplatforms as being the one you go to for meeting new people, as opposed to Facebook (connecting with people you already know), LinkedIn (people you know profesionally), and Twitter (exchanging information).
Quepasa emphasized two trends: mobility and globalization. Its says its mobile usage is exploding, and they are just in the early stages of monetizing it, though it says it already has the "top-grossing social app on Android". The company believes the new brand name, as well as having a single unified platform, will be much better suited to the global market. Why throw away a great, well recognized brand name? The company didn't quite address that. Obviously Yearbook is more of an American term, and may not carry well into other parts of the world. The other big issue that wasn't really discussed was demographics in terms of age. myYearbook, as the name implies, was definitely geared to high school age kids. I'm sure Quepasa wants to keep these users as they get older, in addition to attracting other older users, but the company didn't really address this issue. Originally, myYearbook was intended to provide a somewhat protected environment for teens to socialze in.
Quepasa also discussed increasing non-advertising revenue, particularly through its virtual currency. Advertising now accounts for 85% of revenue, and Management sees virtual currency providing an increasing contribution. Quepasa also said yesterday that it expects to achieve positive EBITDA by the end of 2012. Plans for adding additional languages and expanding to other regions were mentioned, though no specifics were given.
myYearbook was founded in 2005 by three Cook siblings: Catherine and Dave, who were high school students at the time, and Geoff, who now serves as Quepasa COO. First Round Capital was an early investor.