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Update:

Holy crap. Numerous sources — including the Bits blog at the NYT, as well as Mashable and Business Week — are reporting that Slide has raised $50-million, giving the company a valuation of $500-million. This seems almost unbelievable to me. Maybe I’m missing something, but I just don’t see how even a popular Facebook widget can be worth the kind of money we’re talking about here, unless Slide has a more extended strategy that I’m not seeing. For their sake, I hope so.

Original post:

Kara Swisher of All Things D says she’s hearing talk that Slide, the widget company founded by Max Levchin, is close to getting a bunch of funding that will value the company at “many times” its most recent $60-million to $80-million valuation. If that happens, it would be a pretty big boost for makers of Facebook apps. But is a company whose products consist of widgets such as SuperPoke and a slideshow really worth $100-million, or $200-million, or (God forbid) $300-million?

At the moment, Slide and another app-maker called RockYou are the Coke and Pepsi of the Facebook widget game, with several spots in the list of top widgets each. Over the past six months or so they have jockeyed for top spot, with RockYou claiming those honours just before Christmas. Slide has SuperPoke, RockYou has X Me; Slide has FunWall, RockYou has SuperWall; Slide has Top Friends and RockYou has Zombies. Each one has millions of “users.” But what are they worth?

In a recent post, I looked at the numbers put out by Adonomics — a Facebook app consulting company — which argues that apps like FunWall are worth $30-million based on an ad model that the company has come up with. As I noted in that post, however, much of what goes into those numbers is just guesswork, and maybe a little wishful thinking as well. Can something like FunWall produce enough actual value that we can say (in any real sense) it is “worth” $30-million?

About the author

Mathew 2430 posts

I'm a Toronto-based senior writer with Fortune magazine, and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

20 Responses to “How much is a SuperPoke worth?”
  1. I recently came to the conclusion that an installed user is worth about $1.40, based on the earnings of the only pure-play FB app company that is publicly traded (that I know of) – http://mashable.com/2008/01/16/snap-interactive/

    Of course, that numbers can change a lot based on the biz model of the app.

  2. I highly doubt it would rake in that much money or generate more than 30-million and grow exponentially or even at all to that amount or beyond that amount. I think it's totally unrealistic for ANY ad model they put into these applications. It would have to be several apps generating that much. Not just one.

  3. this is seriously starting to piss me off – excuse my french – I talk to companies who are doing great things all the time, much more sophisticated and interesting than an embedded photo displayer (I like Slide but come on), and a widget company getting this kind of money at that valuation is asinine.

  4. Matthew,

    Both Slide and RockYou have over 100 million facebook installs for their apps and over 30 million unique facebook users that interact with those apps and with whom these app aggregators can communicate via Facebook's messaging system. That means that each of these companies can sample detailed user profile data from about 50% of Facebook's entire population.

    If you had a company that had the right to interact with half of Amazon's install base or half of eBay's installs base, a potential competitor to Amazon or eBay (or these companies themselves) might be very interested in acquiring these companies. The reason is that they represent a strategic threat to Facebook if they were in the hands of either Google or Yahoo or LinkIn or Bebo, etc. So, one reason for the higher valuations for these apps is their overall reach. The Adonoimics valuation takes this into account.

    WRT antje's comment above about how other companies doing more interesting things are getting lower valuations, I'm going to bet these other companies don't have 30+ million unique users.

    Thanks,
    Lee Lorenzen
    CEO, Altura Ventures — the first Facebook-only VC

  5. […] Coverage over Mashable, Kara Swisher, GigaOM, Mathew Ingram and ValleyWag. addthis_url = ‘http%3A%2F%2Ftechnozzle.com%2F%3Fp%3D51’; addthis_title = […]

  6. Whether this valuation makes sense or not is up to facebook's future, You can check my post about it http://technozzle.com/?p=51

    I guess that similar deals/valuations will take place this year because of the “Facebook effect”.

  7. Truly amazing! I wonder what kind of fundamentals, if any, are used to come up with this kind of valuation?

  8. The Adonomics Valuation methodology is described here:

    http://blog.adonomics.com/2007/09/24/an-adonomi

  9. I'm looking at this while trying to find past articles about valuations of pets.com and bluelight and webvan in the day. At least they SOLD something. They had product, they had something tangible. This just blows my mind. Companies making biomedical devices can't get $5m and Slide gets $50M. For what?!! Please someone elighten me. I am either a total idiot or I don't get something major here. And – in a saturated market (photo sharing)?

  10. […] How much is a SuperPoke worth?: are you fucking kidding me? i’m going to create a facebook app to poke people if you think they are a d-bag for using superpoke, and if someone wants to give me a couple million, fine by me, hell i’ll settle for 100K. […]

  11. the bubble. she is here. all signs point to it.

  12. As a player of Slides SPP since March of '08. This is my assessment of Slide's SuperPoke! Pets.

    Since I this App they have been pushing new game improvements…and none seem to work right. Their servers cannot handle the load they are pushing on them.

    I know the company is global but I can also see how they can be worth $500 million.

    The app is appealing to the home bound, disabled and various stay at home groups all over the age of 18. Slide has made a point of no under 18 of age users, choosing to remove that under age persons account. So Slide is targeting the older ages with money to spend.

    The app offers the choice to play for coins or you can spend cash for virtual over priced goods. The over priced goods are animated and very appealing when compared to the coin items offered. Playing since March I have seen an increase in gold 100 fold. For example $25 dollars payable by paypal, visa, e.t.c. you get 250 coins no extra or deal. They store your information and it is unsecured. Currently there is a trend in phishing (and some are key-stroking players computers) to steel a players gold vial the My Space training sessions

    SPP is pushing users to have multiple accounts for storage and to run training programs. Training is run through My Space or Facebook to boost the coins earned by the trainer.

    The Customer Service is nonexistent and when you do finally get a reply it blames the member. Reps are not available weekends or nights so it leaves the consumer with a bad feeling. Since they are dealing with a global market there should be a rep available at all times. Slide's SPP app has volunteers trying to deal with concerns and major issues then passing those issues on to a rep who never contacts the player. Not good business.

    If any company is interested in any of these apps they should have their staff join and play for a while to see their short comings before investing.

    Speaking again as a player this app is lacking lately and needs Major improvements.

    I am currently and unemployed person looking for work playing this app to pass the time. When I have registered a complaint about slowness of the app during play I was told it was my computer, I did a lot of tech work as part of my last job it is not my computer it is Slide's SPP.

  13. This is so interested! Where can I find more like this?

  14. This is so interested! Where can I find more like this?

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