EBay invests in social networking site

EBay has invested US$2 million in social networking site Meetup.com

EBay has invested US$2 million in social networking company Meetup, according to a form 8-k eBay filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

Last month Meetup announced that it was receiving investment from several sources -- eBay among them -- but did not specify the amount of the investment. Other investors announced at the time included Omidyar Network, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Esther Dyson and Allen & Co.

In Tuesday's 8-k filing, eBay disclosed the amount of its investment in Meetup, and cited investment in Meetup by eBay founder and Chairman Pierre Omidyar as the reason for disclosing the amount. Omidyar also sits on Meetup's board of directors and "entities owned by" him hold more than a 10 percent equity share in Meetup, eBay stated in its filing.

Meetup.com is a site for people to link up with others who have common interests, hobbies or causes so they can set up and attend meetings and events in their local geographic regions.

EBay spokesman Hani Durzy said Wednesday that eBay invested in Meetup because the two companies share a common focus of connecting people and creating online communities, not because of Omidyar's stake in the social networking company.

"We've been seeing examples of eBay members arranging local meet-ups in their areas, and since there is crossover we thought it was an interesting company so we chose to make an investment," he said.

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Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
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