Bebo Co-Founder Invests In The New Bebo

Bebo co-founder Michael Birch, who made a fortune from the sale of the social network to AOL (NYSE: AOL) two and a half years ago, is once again investing in the site. AOL sold Bebo to private equity firm Criterion Capital Partners this summer; Criterion now says Birch is joining the company as a strategic advisor and will be taking an unspecified stake in the company.

Since purchasing Bebo, Criterion has made a number of big-name hires who have promised to add new features to the site. Just this week, Bebo rolled out a new video chat feature.

Criterion, however, has always said that a goal was to sell Bebo again, and GigaOm reported last week that a “large media company” was interested in buying it. Birch’s investment, however, would seem to suggest that — for now — those talks are off.

Since selling Bebo, Birch has been a prolific investor. He launched a digital media fund focused on Europe in July 2009 called PROfounders Capital. It has backed a number of startups including CitySocialising, TweetDeck and He is personally an investor in a number of other startups, including Eventbrite, Scoopler, PlayFire and Mixpanel.