About.me Founders Buy Company Back From AOL, Raises $5.7 Million

About.me is a website that allows users to put up a digital business card with links to the social media profile.  The About.me website features a large picture as the wallpaper to give your digital business card a bit more personality.  About.me was sold to AOL two years ago and now the founders have bought it back.

About.me co-founder Tony Conrad said that he believes the startup could thrive faster in an autonomous setting.

“I think we can build it so much faster, and so much better, by making it independent again,” said Conrad in an interview with The New York Times. “There’s no obvious leverage in being part of the AOL media network, and there’s no synergy and integration.”

Conrad and About.me co-founder Ryan Freitas will get full control of About.me this week.  When About.me was acquired by AOL, the deal was done very quickly.  On the same day that I wrote about About.me exiting beta, it was the same day that I wrote about the acquisition.

I believed at the time that AOL acquired About.me was for the talent. About.me was the second company that AOL acquired which was founded by Conrad.  The other company AOL acquired that was launched by Conrad was called Sphere.

Conrad did not say how much he spent to buy back About.me, but he said that it was a fraction of what AOL had paid to acquire the company.  He added it simply became a “cost center to AOL.”

About.me is announcing that they have raised $5.7 million in financing this week with investors like True Ventures, Google Ventures, Founder Collective, CrunchFund, and Ron Conway.  AOL will retain an 8% ownership in About.me

See our previous coverage of About.me here.

 

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at
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