Amazon’s Twitch Acquires Bebo: Details About The Deal You Should Know

By Amit Chowdhry ● June 23, 2019
  • Amazon’s Twitch game streaming service has acquired social network and esports company Bebo
  • The terms of the deal were undisclosed, but it was reported to be up to $25 million

Amazon’s game streaming service subsidiary Twitch has reportedly acquired the Bebo social network for under $25 million in order to build up its esports platform. The deal was first confirmed by TechCrunch. With Bebo’s technology, Twitch is also going to drive the development of Twitch Rivals.

A Twitch spokesperson confirmed the acquisition and it includes about 10 employees and the company’s intellectual property. And TechCrunch’s sources said that the deal value of up to $25 million beat at least two other bidders including Facebook and Discord. Facebook reportedly offered $20 million for Bebo.

Bebo CEO Shaan Puri is now Senior Director of Product of Esports at Twitch and co-founder Jason Hitchcock is now Business Operations for Esports at Twitch.

Bebo was originally founded by Michael Birch and Xochi Birch in 2005. The Bebo social network especially grew in popularity throughout Europe. And then AOL acquired Bebo in 2008 for $850 million. Less than two years later, Criterion Capital acquired Bebo for a reported $10 million (or less).

In May 2013, Bebo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and then the founders bought it back for $1 million. Then the founders set up an incubator called Monkey Inferno with a small team to oversee a number of projects including the reinvention of Bebo.

Prior to getting into esports, Monkey Inferno had launched an app called Blab — which gained millions of users but shut down a year later due to declines in engagement.

Last year, Amazon AWS highlighted efforts by Bebo CTO Furqan Rydhan in arranging a “Fortnite” tournament in one week flat. In the interview, Rydhan said that Bebo had to go from 300 API calls to half a million. So they utilized autoscale features from AWS to balance the load.

There are reports that Amazon is preparing to launch a game streaming service that would compete against upcoming game streaming services like Google Stadia, Apple Arcade, and Microsoft xCloud.