Brad Greenspan

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Brad Greenspan is an internet entrepreneur who has been involved in the founding and proliferation of various web properties including MySpace. Greenspan founded eUniverse Inc. in 1998, which went public in 1999. The company survived the .com-bust of 2001 and was the incubator that launched MySpace.com in 2003.


Prior to the launch of Myspace, Greenspan grew eUniverse into one of the largest Entertainment networks on the internet. eUniverse was originally headquartered in Wallingford Connecticut but as the company grew it moved the headquarters to Los Angeles and Greenspan became not only the Chairman but also the CEO of the company. [1]

According to Comscore Netscore, the eUniverse Network was the ninth largest internet property for the month of October 2001. At such time, eUniverse's online audience in the United States was larger then Google's and had a worldwide audience of over 49.4 million unique users. [2]

Greenspan's eUniverse was an innovator in online advertising, entertainment and content sharing.

A Gartner Report by Denise Garcia in 2001 titled “EUniverse: The Secret Successful World of Internet Ad Sales” explained “How a company dependent on ad sales makes a profit and maintains its’s position as the 8th largest site in the US.” The report further stated:

“Managing an online advertising dependent business seems nearly impossible in this climate of dismayed sites and disgruntled advertisers. With some smart planning and selling, realizing a profit-and satisfying cusomers—is possible”

The Gartner Report further states “Successful web publishers will develop a formula for success similar to eUniverse’s”

“eUniverse has created a network of sites that work as a direct marketing vehicle which deliver information, foster relationships and enable transactions. “We looked at some of the most popular content on the web and saw the need to bring entertainment and communications together in a way that only the Internet can” Thus, eUniverse’s entertainment distribution and direct marketing model was born.

“It is this direct marketing model that’s fuled eUniverrse’s tremendous growth. According to Nelson/Netratings eUniverse’s unique audience grew over 450% from February 2000 to February 2001—from 2.8 million unique users to 13.4 million. In a world where not everyone is witty, clever or funny, users visit eUniverse for the ‘recipe of the day”, the “joke of the day”, “a hug” or just a “little inspriration”. One user named Carolyn says, “I visit it everyday and recommend it to all I Know.” The viral aspect of these emails imply an endorsement from a user like Carolyn to her friends and they start coming to the site as well—and the numbers reflect growth."

Websites launched by Greenspan and eUniverse included:

Flowgo.com launched in late 2000 focused on viral entertainment including flash cartoons and greeting cards. By June 2001, Flowgo.com had become the #1 entertainment website on the internet with 12,980,000 unique monthly visitors according to Nielsen Netratings.

Madblast.com launched in 2001 became a leader in online flash games.

CupidJunction.com launched in 2001 was eUniverse's dating website.

Justsaywow.com launched in 2000 was a leader in flash entertainment and boasted a daily email newsletter with over 50 million subscribers.

Skilljam.com a skilled online gaming property was launched by eUniverse in 2002. In March of 2003, Skilljam announced it had struck an exclusive multi year partnership to run skilled pay-per-play gaming for Microsoft’s MSN property. Forbes described the partnership in a March 18, 2003 article titled “Win Bill Gates’ Money”. [3]

By September 2003 according to eUniverse’s September 25, 2003 PR Newswire release “hosted over 1.7 million unique visitors in August, according to Internet audience measurement service Nielsen/Netratings. Based on such unique audience reach, Skilljam has established itself as the  world’s largest online pay-per-play skill based gaming property.”[4]

As incredible as Greenspan’s leadership steering eUniverse’s audience growth despite a fraction of the cash raised compared to the competition at the time, was Greenspan’s performance as an operator of the publicly traded company:

For the 12 months thru March 2000, eUniverse generated $1.84 million in revenue and had a $6.55 million dollar EBITDA loss.[5] For the 12 months thru March 2001, eUniverse generated $15.66 million in revenue and had a $2.47 million dollar EBITDA loss.[6] For the 12 months thru March 2002, eUniverse generated $33.19 million in revenue and had a $6.64 million dollar EBITDA gain. For the 12 months thru March 2003, eUniverse generated $65.74 million in revenue and had a $1.08 million dollar EBITDA gain.

In the final month Greenspan served as Chairman and CEO, October 2003, eUniverse generated $5,736,710 in revenue, over $500,000 in positive EBITDA, and $286,920 in net income.

Greenspan resigned in late October 2003 as CEO and as a Director in December 2003 stating in an SEC 8k that he felt the other "directors have breached their fiduciary duties to the Company and its stockholders"[7]

Greenspan retained a significant percentage of shares in the company and owned 10% of the company when it sold to News Corp in 2005.[8] Greenspan opposed the acquisition, and has been fighting News Corp both legally and publicly ever since. He increased the market capital of Euniverse from $70m to $650m when the company was sold to News Corp.   

Greenspan invested in China based Hupo.TV an online video site in 2006 which grew to over 30 million unique monthly users by December 2007.[9] Greenspan's BroadwebAsia partnered with Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) in 2008 to launch MLB.com's first Chinese website MLB.cn.[10]


Angel Investing[edit]

Greenspan has invested in several other businesses as an angel investor, e.g. Gametize.com a fast growing Singapore online gaming company, Shoppinglifestyle.com a fast growing portal focused on a young female demographic, Broadwebasia (an Asian internet company, out of business), Borba (a health product-line, not available any more), and LiveUniverse (a social network focused internet company, out of business). LiveVideo, Inc. and its livevideo.com (now defunct) social network launched in 2008 was one of the first live streaming platforms.

Greenspan invested in the first outside round of BigFishGames, Inc. in 2006 and in 2008 when BigFishGames raised $83 million from venture capital funds, Greenspan sold his stake for over a 1000% profit. [11]

Greenspan was also an early investor in mobile entertainment startup New Motion, Inc. in 2006 and owned approximately 6% of the company when it went public in 2008, selling his stake for an over 2000% profit [12]

Dow Jones[edit]

In mid-2007, Brad Greenspan presented a takeover bid for Dow Jones' Wall Street Journal (WSJ) against News Corp.[13] Greenspan was unsuccessful in his bid against News Corp.[14]

History[edit]

Brad Greenspan attended UCLA, where he launched his first company Palisades Capital from his dormitory room.[citation needed]

By January 1998, Brad, age 24, Founder and sole employee of Palisades Capital closed 5 private placements for publicly traded companies, syndicating these deals to over 10 Institutional Investors and raised over $62 million dollars.

Brad retired from investment Banking at end of 1998 at age 25 after generating over $2 million in fees and re-invested the money to start eUniverse.

The private placements and public companies involved included:

Date: 12/17/97 Amount Raised: $3,000,000 Company: Interactive Entertainment Limited: Nasdaq (IELSF) Investors: 1) Credit Suisse First Boston 2) CastleCreek Investment Management

Date: 12/27/97 Amount Raised: $45,000,000 Company: Hayes Microcomputers Nasdaq (HAYS) Investors:1) Elliot Associates 2) Angel Gordon 3) Stark Investments

Date: 1/8/98 Amount Raised: $10,000,000 Company: Queen Sand Resources Nasdaq (QSRI) Investors: 1) Credit Suisse First Boston 2) HBK Capital

Date: 3/15/98 Amount Raised: $150,000 Company: NewRiders, Inc. Investors: Palisades Holdings

Date: 12/15/98 Amount Raised: $4,300,000 Company: Cotton Valley Resources Amex: (KTN) Investors: 1)JMG Capital Partners 2) Lionheart Global, 3) Palisades Holdings

MySpace[edit]

The MySpace service was founded in August 2003 as a new initiative and 100% owned division of publicly traded internet company eUniverse (which later in mid-2004 changed its name to Intermix).[citation needed] eUniverse created and marketed the Myspace website, providing the division with a complete infrastructure of finance, human resources, technical expertise, bandwidth, and server capacity right out of the gate so the MySpace team wasn’t distracted with typical start-up issues.[citation needed] The project was overseen by Brad Greenspan (eUniverse's Founder, Chairman, CEO), with Chris DeWolfe (MySpace's former CEO), Josh Berman, Tom Anderson (MySpace's former president), and a team of programmers and resources provided by eUniverse.[citation needed]


Brad Greenspan / The MySpace Report[edit]

In October 2006, Brad Greenspan launched a website, called freemyspace.com, and published reports that called for the Securities and Exchange Commission, the United States Department of Justice and the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance to investigate News Corp's acquisition of MySpace as "one of the largest merger and acquisition scandals in U.S. history."[15] The report's main allegation is that News Corp. should have valued MySpace at US$20 billion rather than US$327 million, and had, in effect, defrauded Intermix shareholders through an unfair deal process.[16] The report received a mixed response from financial commentators in the press.[17] A lawsuit led by Greenspan challenging the acquisition was dismissed by a judge.[18] Greenspan's claims were validated when in June 2010 Judge George H. King ruled ruled in favor of shareholders in a summary judgement decision. According to Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times, "Viewed as a whole, Judge King wrote, the evidence indicates that “there are at least triable issues of fact” about whether Mr. Rosenblatt acted in good faith or tilted the auction in favor of the News Corporation “for a purpose other than maximizing shareholder value.”

A trial might also determine if the rest of the Intermix board improperly put Mr. Rosenblatt in charge of the auction process and then turned a blind eye to his actions, the judge concluded." Further, the Judge refused to dismiss the damage report finding "shareholders suffered economic damages in the News Corporation bid of $506 million to $667 million" [19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/euniverse-leading-interactive-entertainment-network-moves-headquarters-to-los-angeles-and-appoints-new-ceo-72720082.html
  2. ^ http://www.clickz.com/clickz/news/1707590/top-online-properties-october-2001
  3. ^ http://www.forbes.com/2003/03/18/cx_aw_0318games.html
  4. ^ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/skilljam-dominates-growing-online-skilled-gaming-space-as-property-is-visited-by-over-17-million-unique-visitors-in-august-according-to-nielsennetratings-71163027.html
  5. ^ http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1088244/000095011701500802/a31024.txt
  6. ^ http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1088244/000095011701500802/a31024.txt
  7. ^ http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1088244/000119312503096563/dex991.htm
  8. ^ Founder: News Corp. Hijacked MySpace | WebProNews
  9. ^ http://www.broadcastnewsroom.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=264602
  10. ^ "Greenspan's BroadWebAsia Gets MLB Rights in China". CBS News. 2008-03-31. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  11. ^ http://www.prweb.com/releases/big_fish/fish_games/prweb1324694.htm
  12. ^ http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/spos/filing.ashx?filingid=5043690
  13. ^ Greenspan outlines alternate plan for Dow Jones - MarketWatch
  14. ^ Peers, Martin (2007-08-02). "Murdoch's Next Focus: Business-News Battle". The Wall Street Journal. 
  15. ^ "Myspace.com Founder Issues Report Finding News Corp.'s Myspace Acquisition Defrauded Shareholders of More Than $20 Billion". ecoustics.com. 2006-10-09. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  16. ^ Chmielewski, Dawn C. (2006-10-08). "MySpace Founder Seeks Inquiry". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  17. ^ "Was MySpace Sold on the Cheap?". Business Week. 2006-10-06. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  18. ^ "Suit over sale of MySpace dismissed". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 2006-10-10. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  19. ^ "Bidder Beware". New York Times. 2010-07-03. Retrieved 2010-07-04.