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about.me

About.me is branching out, buys itself back from AOL

It’s so nice to see once-bought companies branch out on their own. Personal online identity hosting service about.me has announced its independence from parent company AOL.

Mich Atagana
Mich started out life wanting to be a theoretical physicist but soon realized that mathematics was required. So, she promptly let go of that dream. She then... More

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About.me, which was launched in 2009, allows users to a simple platform from which to link multiple online identities by connecting webpages and social profiles such as Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus in a single page.

The company sold to the internet and media juggernaut for US$1.3-million in 2010 four days after going public. It seems things are changing for the company. In an email to users, the service announced that it has received funding from unnamed investors and its management team that now allows it buy itself back from AOL.

“…we’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be spinning about.me back out, returning to life as an independent company that is financially backed by our management team and a truly amazing group of investors who have backed companies such as WordPress and Google. Our team will remain the same for the most part, and we’ll continue our roles as co-founders,” said the email.

There definitely some changes coming to the service, with an updated Terms of Service, Privacy Policy and account updates. The company says it is committed to providing users with a one stop shop of their identities online.

“Our commitment is to make about.me the web’s starting point for identity – we believe everyone will eventually have an about.me page they integrate into their email signature, add to their Twitter Bio or embed in one of their blogs. Very few products have a legitimate shot at becoming ubiquitous and we think building about.me as an independent company is the best way to get there.”

The separation from AOL seems to an amiable one and has left both companies in a better place.

“During the past two years, we’ve been thankful for the tremendous resources and support of our friends and partners at AOL,” says the mail.

The company’s decision to go it alone is somewhat out of character for a startup, most startups look for the million dollar exit not to go back alone.