WHERE Bought by eBay for $135 Million-ish

WHERE has been acquired by eBay, probably for between $100 and $150 million on the high end.  (Here’s a source that says it was $135 million.) It gives eBay a potentially potent collections of assets:

–Where.com (which could be developed into a YP or Yelp rival)
–Popular Where mobile app
–Local-mobile ad network (120K – 130K advertisers reportedly)
–The Where team

Recall that eBay owns Milo; and Where is going to be housed within PayPal. Imagine the LBS possibilities: local products, deals, mobile ad network and payments. But there are major questions in my mind about whether eBay can realize the full potential of all this.

Think about how the company blew it with Skype. For the Where folks and their investors it’s a very nice deal. It’s probably “two years and out” for the key executives I would imagine.

If the right people at eBay are in charge of this there’s enormous potential, as I said. That’s perhaps especially (though not as obviously) true in the PC domain Where.com, which the company itself hasn’t really developed. Beyond that there’s synergy between PC, mobile, deals and in-store experiences. (PayPal has a great opportunity with mobile users and SMB merchants. However the mobile payments space is incredibly competitive already.)

The truly major challenge here is execution and I’m not sure eBay is up to it. However to its credit the company is wisely housing Where within its hottest unit, PayPal.

Update: Some additional data on Where provided by a third party (not within the company):

Where revenue in 2010 was $17M. Projected revenue for 2011 was $40M. Given that latter number, I would bet the acquisition price was closer to $150 than $100 million — along the lines of the above estimate.

The “overwhelming majority” of Where advertisers come from CityGrid, Zvents, AT&T and others. They have very few direct advertiser relationships.

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  1. Thoughts on Groupn-Whrrl, eBay-Where says at

    [...] bought Where because what Where has meshes nicely with Milo and PayPal (if executed well). The patents that [...]

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