Recent grad sells company for $100 million

Last month, 2011 recent grad Catherine Cook (MSB ’11) sold, a social networking site she founded with her brother David, to Latin American counterpart Quepasa for $100 million, according to the Washington Post.

Cook told the Post that she and her brother started the site after moving to a new high school made it difficult to find friends. The site uses games, video chats, and other features to link users with potential acquaintances.

What began in 2005 as a local high school network of 400 subscribers today boasts over 32.7 million users in North America alone. Cook credits her interest in web entrepreneurship to the success of her brother Geoff, 33, in starting and selling two successful internet businesses.

“Watching Geoff build his two companies made Dave and I want to be entrepreneurs,” Cook said. “When we would compare it to our parents’ bring your child to work day, it was just so much cooler.”

Cook joins a long line of Georgetown-affiliated entrepreneurs, from Nicolas Jammet (MSB ’07), Nathaniel Ru (MSB ’07), and Jonathan Neman (MSB ’07), founders of Sweetgreen, to the founders of LivingSocial and Blackboard.

h/t Washington Post

5 Comments on “Recent grad sells company for $100 million

  1. An old blog post Vox wrote about Cook quotes another blog that says this:

    “A source who spoke to Catherine recently told Mashable that it’s more of a PR pitch: Catherine is a 4.0 honors student with little free time in between extra-curricular activities, he says, and knows little about the running of the site when questioned. While the teen angle is a great way to promote the site, the force behind it is older brother Geoff, almost 30, who learned that age is a good selling point while garnering press coverage for a startup in his freshman years. Now too old to play that card, his younger siblings have been thrust in front of the cameras, says our source.”

    I’d like to know how much of that $100 million actually went to Catherine. Mostly so I know exactly how bad to feel about myself.

  2. Also, a good chunk of that $100 million is in stock.


  3. Ironically, the terms of the deal are quite interesting. The deal was for $20M in cash and $80M of stock in Quepasa (according to the WSJ article). Therefore, if her share (most likely restricted) appreciates and she can liquidate it, she and her brother could walk away with substantially more than $100M. Either way, it’s commendable. Congrats, Catherine.

  4. How does myspace sell for $35 million…. yet this site I have never heard of gets $100 million?

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