Russia's SUP Acquires LiveJournal Blogging Service
The hosted blogging service, which has 14 million users worldwide, was purchased from San Francisco's Six Apart.
One-year-old Russian online media company SUP on Monday announced that it has acquired LiveJournal -- a hosted blogging service that counts millions of users in the U.S. and around the world.
SUP bought the service from Six Apart, a San Francisco-based startup that began offering LiveJournal in 2005 after acquiring its developer, Danga Interactive.
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Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
SUP's acquisition of LiveJournal stems from an existing partnership between the company and Six Apart. In October 2006, SUP struck a licensing agreement with Six Apart to offer LiveJournal in Russia. Since then, use of LiveJournal in the country has flourished. Russian bloggers account for 28% of the software's 14 million users, according to Six Apart.
As part of the transaction, SUP plans to establish a new operating unit called LiveJournal. It said it would announce a management team in the coming weeks. SUP will also install a LiveJournal advisory board that will include Danga Interactive founder Brad Fitzpatrick, who now works for Google.
Two seats on the advisory board will be reserved for members of the "LiveJournal community," according to SUP. The seats will be awarded on the basis of open, online elections and will rotate, the company said.
SUP was founded in 2006 by American investor Andrew Paulson and Aleksandr Mamut, widely seen as one of Russia's so-called "new oligarchs" and a Kremlin insider. SUP "set itself the goal of building a portfolio of high-traffic-generating projects based in Moscow from which to expand worldwide," a company statement said.
Beyond LiveJournal, SUP operates Championat.ru, one of the top three sports and entertainment sites on Russia's Internet, online advertising service provider SOL, and Victory SA -- another online ad agency.