Siliconbeat reports on Thefacebook 's $12 million raise. This in itself is big news, since the company is only 14 months old and that amount of money could seem disproportionate for its stage of maturity. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.
I just happened to have lunch with Matt Cohler, the VP of Corporate Development of Thefacebook. He was kind enough to share with me some numbers that I could blog, and to be honest, they are quite stunning. Ready ? Here they are:
- Out of 1400 universities in the US, 640 have been launched.
- In those universities, they have a 50 to 90 percent penetration
- Total number of registered users: 2.6 million
- Frequency of visits: 65% of the user base visits the site every day, 95% every month (!!!!)
- Average number of visits per day: 6
- Traffic: 3 billion page views from US registered users
The business model is advertising and sponsorships, and their focus is to provide a very useful directory and related features to the college kids demographics. Current advertisers of the site are Apple, Victoria Secrets, Paramount Pictures,... and there is more to come.
Oh yeah, and they are already making gazillions of dollars and are profitable.
So that $12M investment of Accel was not really necessary, but it helps stabilizing the company, gets Jim Breyer involved and makes everybody wonder about the valuation. Matt did not say anything but using the 20-30 rule (which says that a firm wants to own 20 to 30% of a company when investing alone), you get $40 to $60M. After 14 months.
Update: AlwaysOn had hinted at $81M pre-, and from what I have heard since I wrote this post, it is either that or higher. Sheesh.
As I said, tip of the iceberg.
Another update: The NY Times has a long article about Accel's investment, also covering the history of the company.