Shelfari Added to the Amazon Mix August 26, 2008 – Tags: AbeBooks, Amazon, Book Social Networking, Books and Technology
Less than a month after acquiring AbeBooks, Amazon has acquired the book social networking site Shelfari.
Amazon invested $1 million in Shelfari back in February of 2007 earning them a seat on the board and a front row seat for Shelfari’s now infamous and dubious astroturfing campaign.
Of course, the terms of the deal were not disclosed but “sources told the Seattle P-I the financial outcome was positive for investors in Shelfari.” What that means I am not so sure. There was talk that Shelfari was running out of money and since they have not yet figured out a way to monetize their efforts in any measurable way I can’t imagine that it would have been an easy trip for them as they embarked on their pursuit of another round of funding.
The folks over at Techvibe offer this potential valuation:
“If you assume that Techcrunch’s social networking valuation calculation is correct at $132 per unique user – and that Shelfari has between 100K and 120K uniques per month (Compete.com has them down for 180K visitors/month), the max valuation would be $15 Million.
That being said, vertical social networks don’t really monetize well, so I’d peg it closer $10 Million.”
I would be amazed if this acquisition cost Amazon anything near that amount. Their proposition might have been as simple as if you want to stay in business then your ours.
As Amazon’s recent acquisition of Abebooks muddied the online bookselling playing field, this is sure to do the same in the book social network world. The field just got smaller and with the the 40% stake in LibraryThing that Amazon got with their purchase of AbeBooks it is becoming a little incestuous.
In my commentary on the Amazon acquisition of AbeBooks I did say that one of the biggest losers in the deal would be Shelfari. Who would of thought that Amazon would have acted so quickly to get a bigger hold in the market when they had just acquired 40% of LibraryThing. Sure, the Shelfari interface might make a nice Kindle add-on but the data goldmine that is LibraryThing should have warranted further exploration unless of course the Shelf was about to fall down.
LibraryThing thread on the news
Previously on Book Patrol:
Shelfari Changing Course
The Book Social Networking Race : Shelfari, Goodreads and LibraryThing Accelerate
Goodreads Rising as the Year Ends in the Book Social Networking World