BUSINESS INSIDER - Feb 1 - Bebo will return in Feb 2021. The new site is currently in private beta, and only people who have been provided with the password can access it. Bebo was founded by husband-and-wife team Michael and Xochi Birch in 2005 and had a tumultuous rise and fall. Bebo gained mass popularity in Ireland and the UK, where it was the most visited social network in 2007 with 80M users. The founders sold Bebo to AOL for $850M but this was just as Facebook was taking off. AOL sold off Bebo to investment firm Criterion Capital Partners for $10M, and Bebo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2013. Bebo's founders decided to buy it back for $1M, with a pledge to "reinvent" it. The Bebo site turned to streaming software and then to esports tournaments. In 2019, it was acquired by Amazon subsidiary Twitch for $25M. The Bebo site itself was then taken offline. Sixteen years after it first launched, Bebo is now making a come-back.
by Grace Dean
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