Today we announced our investment in Nexopia.com, Canada’s largest social networking site for youth. At the same time we also announced that I will be joining the company as CEO. A new (and very exciting) investment for Burda Digital Ventures / W Media Ventures and at the same time an additional job for me!
Nexopia has seen phenomenal growth over the past 5 years since it was founded by Timo Ewalds in Edmonton. Without any external funding the site has grown to over 1 billion page views / month and 1.2 million registered users. One of the questions that I got repeatedly asked when discussing the Nexopia investment with friends and business partners in the past weeks, was focusing on the competitive threat by Facebook. Three importnat points to be made in this respect: 1. Facebook is about efficient communication with your existing friends while Nexopia (and many other social networks for that matter) are much more about expressing your personality on the Internet, discovering new things and making new friends. 2. Nexopia has continued to grow very strongly in the past year while Facebook was on the rise here in Canada so their competition doesn’t seem to have hurt us. 3. We are focusing on the 14-20 years demographic and think that they have very specific needs that we can serve better than a social network that tries to organize all age groups.
So what’s next? We have two big priorities for 2008: churning out lots of cool new product and expanding Nexopia into Eastern Canada. I am very impressed with Nexopia’s engineering team so we should be seeing some quick results on the first point. And given our track record in Western Canada I am pretty confident that the youth from the East will soon be connected through Nexopia as well. Exciting new investment, exciting new job!