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August, 2012

The Internet’s Biggest, Jaw-dropping Buyouts

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Nowadays many entrepreneurs and wannabes wonder whether it’s worth to create a startup or not. There is so much work and dedication involved and quite often the projects fail or they’re just not profitable enough.

We had a deeper look into the most incredible & jaw-dropping buyouts of the past & present. It is simply astonishing to see the money circulating from one company to another. Therefore, we’d like to present some of these phenomenal deals. Some of these spectacular takeovers should give hope to every single entrepreneur that it is worth to stay passionate & dedicated when it comes to creating a new business.

1. Microsoft buys TellMe Networks

Sale Price: $800 Million
Year: 2007

Tellme provides voice recognition and instruction technology. They are simply combining Internet data and a voice interface. Microsoft acquired Tellme in 2007. They use Tellme’s technology in Windows Phone’s voice recognition, Bing voice search, Xbox voice recognition, and other Microsoft technologies.

2. Facebook buys Instagram

Sale Price: $1 Billion
Year: 2012

Instagram is a free photo sharing application that allows users to take photos, apply a filter, and share it on the service or a variety of other social networking services, including Facebook & Twitter. In April 2012, Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion. The reason for the acquisition is that Facebook is essentially about photos. Instagram had found and attacked Facebook’s achilles heel, mobile photo sharing.

3. Ebay buys PayPal

Sale Price: $1.5 Billion
Year: 2002

Ebay, the online auction bought PayPal in 2002 in order to make payments more user-friendly to their customers. PayPal created a secure and very easy to use payment system, which soon would attract the eye of other giant companies. Ebay saw the potential and bought it for $1.5 billion.

4. Google buys YouTube

Sale Price: $1.65 Billion
Year: 2006

After only one year of its creation the YouTube founders were able to sell their company for an incredible $1.65 billion to Google. This is Google’s largest ever-made acquisition since their existence. A lot of experts weren’t sure if this investment was worth the money with YouTube being involved in legal debates from music and movie studios. As for the present, nobody will doubt that this was a great acquisition. YouTube remains the third most popular website in the world.

5. ebay buys Skype

Sale Price: $2.6 Billion
Year: 2005

In 2005, Ebay did exceptionally well coming up with the idea to buy the majority stake of Skype. They anticipated the huge impact Skype would have on internet telecommunication. In 2009, Ebay even sold a majority stake to an investment consortium at profit. In 2011, Skype was then sold once again to Microsoft for an incredible amount of $8.5 billion.

6. Yahoo buys Geocities

Sale Price: $3.57 Billion
Year: 1999

GeoCities was a maker of personal publishing tools and Web-based communities that launched in 1996. GeoCities offered a free website and all the tools required to build a hosted & dynamic personal site. It was one of the most popular websites out there. Yahoo acquired Geocities in 1999 for $800 million in order to extend its global reach. Yahoo! shut down GeoCities on October 26, 2009.

7. Yahoo buys Broadcast.com

Sale Price: $5.7 Billion
Year: 1999

Broadcast.com was an Internet audio/video provider founded in 1995 and was sold to Yahoo at the height of the Dot-com Bubble in 1999 for $5.7 Billion. That’s how Dallas Mavericks’ famous owner Mark Cuban made a fortune. Yahoo acquired Broadcast.com in order to provide new & original content to their users.

8. Microsoft buys aQuantive

Sale Price: $6.3 Billion
Year: 2007

aQuantive was a marketing analytics technology firm & advertising network purchased by Microsoft in May 2007 for $6.3 billion. This has been Microsoft’s largest acquisition in history. The deal was an indication of Microsoft’s efforts to catch up in the growing online advertising space. Their rivals Yahoo & Google had made similar acquisitions shortly before.

9. Oracle buys Peoplesoft

Sale Price: $10.3 Billion
Year: 2004

In 2004, Systems tycoons Oracle took over Peoplesoft, a very popular web-based human resources software outfit. Oracle paid an incredible $10.3 billon. Some people claim that this was almost a hostile takeover from Oracle. Up to date, this is the biggest internet takeover in history.

While these enormous sums of money can get even the most reserved entrepreneur “seeing green”, it’s important to stay focused and be true to your vision. Startups aren’t for everyone and if you’re only in it for the money, you’re almost guaranteed to fail. However, if your goal is to solve a real problem that can change people’s lives, stay focused and you might just find yourself in the headlines for the next jaw-dropping mega acquisition in the startup world.