UPDATE: A source familiar with the deal says Google actually paid $228 million, not the $182 million TechCrunch reports.Additionally, we’ve learned that, along with Google’s top lawyer, David Lawee, Google cofounder Sergey Brin himself championed this deal.
Google will make Slide’s apps a big part of its Google Games launch later this year, Lacy reports.
Google has also invested a couple hundred million in Facebook games-maker Zynga.
Clearly, Google is moving in on the booming virtual goods market – the same one Facebook hoped to corner with its Facebook Credits program.
The sale price has to be a disappointment for Max, who publicly acknowledged his plan was to sell Slide for more than he sold PayPal for – about $1.5 billion.
In 2007 BusinessWeek article Slide investor David Weiden said that if Slide cashed out for $1.5 billion or less, Levchin “would regard it as abject failure.”
The $182 million is also less than the $550 million valuation investors gave Slide during its last raise. Slide raised $78 million in total venture capital.
From another perspective, today’s sale could seem like a decent salvage job by Max for his investors. Afterall, Slide went through about five business models during its independent existence.
In 2005, the company began as a desktop-based, photo-oriented shopping search engine. Max built it for his wife, so she could shop for shoes faster.
“The idea was to encourage her to spend more time with me and less time browsing for shoes,” Max told CNET that year.
The plan was to make money sending traffic to ecommerce sites.
But later that year, Slide became a photo-sharing embeddable widget for MySpace and Facebook profiles.
Then, in 2008, Slide took $50 million in funding at a $500 million valuation. It began describing itself as an ad network built on top of a portfolio of widgets including hits like Top Friends and SuperPoke. During this era, Slide opened a New York sales office.
But by July 2009, Slide exited the business of selling standard ad units. The new plan, Slide VP Keith Rabois told us at the time, was to sell ” integrated sponsorships” for $500,000 to $1 million a pop. It shuttered its New York office.
Then in 2010, Slide became a company that made money selling to users — and allowing users to sell — virtual goods. In a January interview, Max told us virtual goods sales accounted for roughly 75% of Slide’s revenues in 2009. The goal was 90% by the end of 2010.
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