Less than three years after it acquired LiveJournal, San Francisco-based blogging software company, SixApart has decided to sell the business to a Russian group, SUP. SixApart is the company behind well known publishing platforms, TypePad and MoveableType. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The sale of LiveJournal shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. LiveJournal founder and lifeforce Brad Fitzpatrick recently left SixApart to pursue other opportunities. He currently works for Google.
In a statement, SixApart said that it will continue to represent LiveJournal to advertisers and partners for 12-months. SUP will establish a US operation to manage LiveJournal globally. SUP had licensed LiveJournal from SixApart in October 2006 permitting SUP to manage LiveJournal in Russia. The Russian LiveJournal community is second only to the U.S. in number of accounts. There are about 14 million Live Journal users. SUP now represents 28% of the total LiveJournal monthly audience.
I got in touch with Edward Shenderovich, Head of Strategic Development at SUP and asked him why his company decided to buy LiveJournal. He emailed this response.
We believe it’s a good business. In the world now dominated by social networks, the role of a “community platform” holds a very special place. We have some ideas about new functionality, new partnerships, and some interesting monetization opportunities. We are very excited about the progress we had made in Russia in the last 6 months and look forward to replicate some of our success worldwide.