These days, we’re generally used to websites and tech firms selling for megabucks, but social news site Digg has gone out with a whimper of a sale.
Once upon a time, Digg had what some might have referred to as a rather fairytale valuation of around $300 million.
However, it has just been bought for only $500,000 by tech development outift Betaworks.
In a statement, the company said: “Betaworks has acquired the core assets of Digg. Digg is one of the great internet brands, and it has meant a great deal to millions of users over the years. It was a pioneer in community-driven news.”
The plan is to turn Digg back into a “start-up”, in other words, run by a very small team with a low budget. How will that be done?
Betaworks explains: “We have spent the last 18 months building News.me as a mobile-first social news experience. The News.me team will take Digg back to its essence: the best place to find, read and share the stories the internet is talking about. Right now.”
The hope, then, is that Digg can be rekindled to its glory days, in a simple and streamlined fashion, clawing back surfers from their new homes at the likes of Reddit.
The new CEO of Digg will be Betaworks founder John Borthwick.
Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, said of Borthwick: “I’ve always been a fan of John’s product vision and the companies he builds, funds, and advises. John understands the real-time nature of the web and how to capture and surface trends as they occur. Given his experience with bit.ly, news.me, and Chartbeat I can’t wait to see what he does with Digg.”
What are the new owner’s chances of success? We’d have to say they’re on the thin side, but obviously this is a relatively low stakes gamble.
All this just goes to show that while there’s clearly plenty of money still sloshing around the tech world, it’s a fickle environment indeed.