Israeli startup with more users than Twitter may sell for billions
You may have never heard of it but the Israeli startup Conduit has half as many users as Facebook, more users than LinkedIn and Twitter, and it’s for sale.
Conduit’s product allows anyone to create personalized toolbars for browsing on a website. With such widespread appeal, the company’s clients range from small stores to the NBA and even singer Rihanna.
Conduit has raised $9.5 million and is now considered profitable with revenues around $100 million in 2009 and $300 million in 2010.
Although the company has turned down offers (even for $100 million) in the past, potentially buyers like Microsoft and Google may just sway owners, whose billion dollar buyout could result in the biggest sale of an Internet firm in Israeli history.
Shaul Olmert, the chief marketing officer, refused to comment on a potential sale.
He said, "We have tried to build an Internet company on an international scale in Israel."
He added the company was committed to Israel and would continue to grow there.
Olmert went as far as to say that his company with half the number of users as Facebook, is more profitable than Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
The founders, CEO and chairman Ronen Shilo, chief technology Officer Dror Erez and chief operating officer Gaby Bilczyk, own 48% of the company and will take home the biggest slice of the pie if bought.
The Yozma venture capital fund that invested $1.5 million in 2005, will also profit from a sale as it owns 10% of the company.
Similarly, Benchmark Capital, a firm that invested $8.5 million in 2008 owns around 21% of the company and will also take home some serious dough if Conduit sells.