Skype co-founder admits Ebay overpaid
Niklas Zennstrom, co-founder of Skype, agrees that the original valuation put on the company by Ebay was too high.
“We had to chart the trajectory of growth and how fast that would run, (but) we found out that was a bit front-loaded,” says Zennstrom. “We overshot in terms of monetisation … Our position in the market has strengthened … you need to look at the long-term value of companies.”
EBay admitted last week it would cut as much as $1.2 billion off the $4.3 billion potential price it agreed to pay for Skype two years ago, but Zennstrom said he thought the company was growing at a satisfactory pace, though more time was needed if the original valuation was ever to be realised.
Zennstrom, together with fellow co-founder Janus Friis, stepped down before reaching earn-out targets in 2008 and 2009, though he would not say whether that was an admission that they definitely would have missed them.
“It (the final target) was two years away. The time value of money is significant,” Zennstrom told the European Technology Roundtable Exhibition in Hungary, adding he wanted to focus more time investing cash in smaller companies including on-line video company Joost, his other major venture.