Michael Birch (businessman)
|Born||7 July 1970
Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, England, UK
Michael Birch (born 7 July 1970 in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire) is an English computer programmer and entrepreneur. Michael attended Imperial College London where he studied for a BSc in Physics (1988–1991). Michael is married to Xochi Birch, with whom he co-founded over half a dozen startups in the past 15 years. Together with Michael's brother Paul Birch they founded BirthdayAlarm.com and with Morgan Sowden they founded Ringo.com (which was sold to tickle.com in 2003). Xochi and Michael later founded the online social networking website Bebo in January 2005, with a major launch in July 2005. In 2007, Bebo had over 45 million registered users and was the sixth most popular site in the UK, bigger than AOL, Amazon.co.uk and bbc.co.uk.
Michael and Xochi Birch sold Bebo to AOL in March 2008 for $850 million. Their combined 70% stake yielded a profit of $595 million from the deal. Since then, the two have started five separate companies they run in parallel. Their current project is The Battery, an exclusive but not elite members club in San Francisco, with their vision stated as “to create a culture where inspiration is embraced, diverse communities come together and egos are checked at the door.”
Michael and Xochi are supporters of the non-profit organization charity:water, having given over $4 million to their organization. Michael also helped the organization launch mycharitywater.org, a fundraising platform that has raised more than $21 million for clean water projects around the world since launch in Fall 2009.
- "Chatting with the new king of chat rooms". The Times (London). 2006-10-01. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
- Johnson, Bobbie (2008-03-17). "All American". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2008-01-19.
- Dodson, Sean (2006-03-02). "Show and tell online". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- "Teen craze over networking sites". BBC News. 2006-03-23. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- How to make 80 million friends and influence people at http://observer.guardian.co.uk (accessed October 12, 2007)
- FT.com / In depth - AOL to ‘supercharge’ Bebo revenues
- BBC interview with Michael and Xochi Birch on starting Bebo
- Bebo Founders Go Analog With Exclusive Battery Club in San Francisco
- The Battery San Francisco
- "A bold idea: always use 100% of public donations to fund clean water projects in the field".