The sale of Webshots may be one of the poster child downfalls of the dot-com boom. Originally a computer screen saver company that distributed sports orientated desktop background evolved into a web and photo-sharing website that was ahead of its time, it displayed user uploaded photos similarly to the basics of Facebook when it was first developed.
Prior to the dot com bust the then Andrew Laakmann, 32, Narendra Rocherolle, 33, and Nicholas Wilder, 29 Webshots co-founders sold the service for a whopping $82.5 million to ExciteAtHome, that’s right $82.5 million with little proven revenue streams.
When ExciteAtHome was forced into Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Carlson approved the sale as part of ExciteAtHomes plans to go out of business in March.
Before selling Webshots at a 97 percent discount from the price it paid in October 1999, ExciteAtHome sold Excite.com for $10 million and let go of online greeting card service Blue Mountain for $35 million. ExciteAtHome paid $6.7 billion and $780 million, respectively, for those two sites in 1999.
This allowed the founders to buy Webshots back at an incredible
A brief history of the company:
1995 – Webshots was initially a sports-oriented screen saver for desktop computers. Founders Andrew Laakmann, Danna Laakmann, Nick Wilder, and Narendra Rocherolle migrated the software to the Web and the photo-sharing website was born.
1999 – Founders sell Webshots to Excite@Home for $82.5 million in stock.
2001 – Excite@Home declares bankruptcy. Webshots assets were purchased back by the founders for $2.5 million cash.
2004 – Webshots is the #1 photo sharing site with 200,000 paid subscribers grossing $15 million annually. Founders sell Webshots to CNET Networks for $71 million.
2007 – CNET sells Webshots to American Greetings for $45 million in cash.
2012 – Threefold Photos, whose Board of Directors include original founders Narendra Rocherolle and Nick Wilder, purchase Webshots from American Greetings for an undisclosed sum. Webshots is replaced entirely by Smile by Webshots, a cloud-based photo management application.