Xochi Birch

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Xochi Birch
OBE
Xochi Birch (9916601614) (cropped).jpg
Birch in 2013
Born Los Angeles, California, USA[1]
Occupation Entrepreneur, Computer programmer
Spouse(s) Michael Birch

Xochi Birch OBE is an American computer programmer and entrepreneur in San Francisco, California. She is the co-founder of several companies since 1999, most notably the online social networking website Bebo, with her husband Michael Birch.[2] She and Michael also founded several domains, with support from Paul Birch and Morgan Sowden.[3]

Life and career[edit]

Xochi and Michael Birch launched Bebo in 2005. By 2007 the site 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.[4] They sold Bebo to AOL in March 2008 for $850 million. Their combined 70% stake yielded a profit of $595 million from the deal.[5] The Bebo franchise quickly declined under its new owners and fell into bankruptcy; in 2013 the couple bought Bebo back for $1 million.[6]

Following their sale of Bebo, the two started five separate companies they run in parallel.[7] Their current project is The Battery, an exclusive members club[8] 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.”[9]

Birch is a supporter of the non-profit organization charity:water, having given over $4 million to the organization.[10] For her 40th birthday she asked people to donate to charity:water instead of giving her a gift; the campaign raised more than $20,000.[11]

Xochi has repeatedly spoken at the Dublin Web Summit,[12] alongside other industry veterans such as Kevin Rose, Kevin Lynch and Robert Scoble.

Personal life[edit]

Xochi Birch was born in Los Angeles and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her father was of Mexican heritage and worked for a community college as a financial aid advisor.[13] She met British-born Michael in a pub in London[14] while she was studying abroad. In 1994, after they were married, she moved to London and worked as a computer programmer; she quit in 1999 so they could start their own business. For several years she and Michael lived from paycheck to paycheck while they started companies and waited for one to become successful.[13] She and Michael moved back to the Bay Area in 2002. In 2014 she and Michael bought a run-down pub and manor house in the small village of Woolfardisworthy, Torridge in North Devon.[15][1] They have three children.[citation needed]

Awards[edit]

In the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours, Birch was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) "for services to technology and online services.".[16] On 11 February 2016 she received her OBE at Buckingham Palace.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Xochi Birch - Co-Founder @ Birthday Alarm - Crunchbase". Crunchbase. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Teen craze over networking sites". BBC News. 2006-03-23. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  3. ^ Dodson, Sean (2006-03-02). "Show and tell online". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  4. ^ How to make 80 million friends and influence people Archived February 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. at http://observer.guardian.co.uk (accessed October 12, 2007)
  5. ^ "In depth - AOL to 'supercharge' Bebo revenues". Financial Times. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  6. ^ Attewill, Fred (July 2, 2013). "Bebo founders buy back site for $1million five years after $850million sale". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Michael and Xochi Birch on starting Bebo". 10 June 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  8. ^ "Bebo Founders Go Analog With Exclusive Battery Club in San Francisco". Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  9. ^ "The Battery". thebatterysf.com. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  10. ^ "A bold idea: always use 100% of public donations to fund clean water projects in the field".
  11. ^ "Xochi Birch 40th Birthday". charity:water. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Xochi Birch". lanyrd.com. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  13. ^ a b Shiels, Maggie (October 23, 2008). "Valley Girls: Xochi Birch". BBC News. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  14. ^ Burkeman, Oliver (4 November 2006). "Bebo, Michael and Xochi Birch". The Guardian, cited at crazybillionaire.org. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  15. ^ North Devon Journal
  16. ^ "No. 61256". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 2015. p. B10.

External links[edit]