Facebook Clone Is Bought

Update: Andreas Dittes has left a comment and points out that according to Financial Times (German Edition) the deal is values at 85 million Euros, and not 100 million Euros as reported earlier. The package is pegged at 50 million in direct payout, and more depending on some metrics. Holtzbrinck already owned 15% of StudiVZ following a 2 million Euro investment in the company through its venture arm.

Facebook might be holding out for a billion dollar payday, but the clones are not waiting around and are busy cashing in their chips.

StudiVZ, a German clone of Facebook was sold for 100 million Euros to Holtzbrick Verlag, a giant German publishing company, reports Spiegel Online, a well known German news outlet. The Chinese clone of Facebook was acquired back in October 2006.

StudiVZ, which claims to have a million users, had been having some serious performance problems, and many users had expressed their displeasure with the service.

The buyout is the latest piece of evidence that a Web 2.0 boom is raging in Germany. OpenBC, aka Xing went public recently. PageFlakes, a start page company raised venture dollars from Benchmark Capital. (WWD has a review of the top start pages today.) MySpace is going German, amidst local competition like Lokalisten.

A lot of this mania also ties into the fact that Germany is one of the premier broadband countries. Broadband, as we have seen time and again, drives adoption of new and innovative services, many of them with a regional or local focus. We are seeing some of it play out in other parts of the world right now. China, France, South Korea, India and other broadband economies are building their own web-ecosystems.