Aol acquires About Dot Me
“It’s beginning to feel like dejavu all over again!”
Today Aol announced it has acquired our portfolio company, about.me. We seed funded About.me in November, 2009 along with Radar Partners, Founder Collective, SV Angel, Freestyle Capital, AOL Ventures, Scott Kurnit and David Mahoney and The New York Times Company. If you feel like you’ve heard this story before, it’s because you have. AOL also acquired our portfolio company, Sphere in September 2007 and many of the names and funding sources were the same.
The common thread for these two? Founder, Tony Conrad. Tony is a Venture Partner at True in addition to his full time, serial entrepreneurial endeavors. Tony co-founded Sphere in 2005 along with Martin Remy (now at our portfolio company Automattic), Steve Neiker (now at our portfolio company AdKeeper) and Toni Schneider (CEO of Automattic and also a Venture Partner at True Ventures). Tony subsequently co-founded about.me with Ryan Freitas and Tim Young, who provided the inspirational idea while also being the Founder and CEO of our portfolio company, SocialCast.
The funny thing for us about this investment is that it wasn’t a “no-brainer”/”slam dunk”/”do it any price” type decision in the fall of 2009, even though Tony is a Venture Partner at True. The idea of a yet another personal profile page on the web launching in 2010 didn’t excite us all that much. Tony persevered, though, and we gladly made the investment behind the belief that great founders will take us into great investment ideas. If you go to about.me you will see that Tony and his team members have made a truly beautiful site that makes you want to find the best picture of yourself possible and show the entire web who you really are. Having seen the site go from concept to reality, it does not surprise me that AOL would want to acquire this company and its team so early after its public launch late last week. Congratulations to AOL for recognizing one of the new and upcoming stars of the internet.
On a personal note, I have sat in the same office with Tony since January, 2005 and there is nothing quite so enjoyable than to see your friend, partner and Founding CEO succeed repeatedly in this early stage technology ecosystem that we occupy. It is a pleasure for all of us at True to say “Congratulations” to Tony Conrad, Tim Young, Ryan Freitas, Andy Hao, Alex Bendig, Jake Alheid, Luke Gotzling, Nathan Fitzsimmons, Pascal Balthrop, Ryan Fujiu and Shawn Collins. Truly, a job well done!!