Build-your-own-Facebook startup Ning is still on fire. The two-year-old company has passed 1 million social networks, and by our back-of-the-envelope calculations, could be on a nearly $10 million annual revenue run-rate.
Ning CEO Gina Bianchini shares some user and traffic metrics with us:
- About 200,000 of those 1 million social networks are active daily.
- 2.4 million users signed up in March, an acceleration from the roughly 2 million new user sign-ups Ning got in January and February. It has 22 million total registered users.
- Ning served up 2.7 billion pageviews in March to about 70 million unique IP addresses.
- About 12,000 social networks pay for Ning premium features, spending about $55 per month. (This sounds high, but ok.)
- Ning is not looking to raise any money, after raising $60 million last April at a $500 million valuation. “Our investors are very happy with us,” Bianchini says.
How much money is Ning making with all that traffic? Bianchini wouldn’t comment. But by our back-of-the-envelope calculations, Ning could be on a nearly $10 million annual revenue run-rate, mostly coming from paid, premium features. Here’s how we got there.
- 12,000 social networks paying an average $55 per month on pro features is about $660,000 per month, or $7.9 million per year.
- At the current monthly pageview rate, Ning might make another $1.5 million in ad revenue annually from Google. Let’s assume that the 12,000 pro networks have paid to remove ads from their Ning networks, and that they are about 6% of Ning’s monthly pageviews. That’s 94% of 2.7 billion March pageviews, or about 2.5 billion pageviews, to serve ads on. Let’s assume that Ning gets a $0.05 effective CPM, or cost per 1,000 pageviews, for its Google ads. That’s another $125,000 per month, or $1.5 million per year.
- That’s about $9.4 million run-rate. Will increase with growth; could be much lower if people really aren’t paying $55 per month on pro features.