July 15, 2004

Webshots Sold Twice

CNET announced yesterday it is acquiring Webshots for $70M. Webshots has 14M monthly users that share digital photos and download them for new screensavers and desktop wallpaper. I tried the site a few years ago and thought it was pretty nifty. I had no clue that it was worth this much. The amazing thing is the founder of Webshots sold the company once to ExciteAtHome in 1999 for $82.5M and then re-bought it a few years later for $2.4M. And now just 2.5 years later, he sold the same site AGAIN for $70M. Not often you see someone sell the same business twice for such huge gains. CNET Networks Inc. said Wednesday that it will pay $70 million to acquire Webshots, a digital photography Web site that was salvaged from the ruins of bankrupt ExciteAtHome for $2.4 million 2 1/2 years ago. The deal represents another coup for Webshots founder Narendra Rocherolle and his business partners, who sold the site to ExciteAtHome for $82.5 million in 1999, near the height of the dot-com boom. Read