What is happening to Cyvee, what will?
As my prior prediction on Cyvee’s booming traffic rank on Alexa that “this won’t last long”, you might find something interesting here: http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/cyvee.com
After peaking in early November following an IDG Ventures Vietnam funding clamour, CyVee is experiencing its first challenge. Though subscribed members have climbed from 12,000 to more than 13,000, its ranking on Alexa is going downward. While Alexa should not be considered as the standard of web ranking, it is enough to reveal something about CyVee’s traffic, other factors equal.
I’ve written on Quang’s blog that CyWorld and CyVee are the two best social networking platforms in Vietnam so far. I still stand by this argument. However, even a brilliant business model with proven success in other countries (Cyworld and LinkedIn) when copied in Vietnam will find some daunting tasks repeating a similar success.
I have to admit that I use Cyvee as pure curiosity and as a “must” for a person so interested in this industry as me. In fact, I found there is almost no use for my appearance on CyVee. Most of my relationship are very “1.0” without the need to pronounce on CyVee. Checking with some boards of directors that I happen to have a sit in, almost no senior executive over there have a Cyvee account. Some have, but almost never use CyVee’s services. Looking at Cyvee’s members, most of the enthusiasts are students and middle managers.
I guess because time is a luxury to all senior executives, you must bring something really valuable to them. Otherwise you cannot persuade them to indulge in your services by consuming their luxurious time.
Jason just posted an interesting observation on the situation of Cyworld Vietnam in his blog. Now the two best platforms, Cyworld and Cyvee, seem to see many challenges ahead, it would be interesting to wait what will happen next to Vietnam’s web 2.0 spree.
The story is now more interesting if you notice that News Corporation is planning an acquisition of LinkedIn. With News Corp.’s not very excellent track record in evolving and replicating their web 2.0 business models around (remember MySpace’s lost against Facebook, and where is MySpace China now?), expect Mr. Murdoch to turn LinkedIn into something similar to WSJ rather than an emerging technology platform. LinkedIn’s owners might be busy now working on their Open Social process with Google before selling to News Corp for a better price tag, so don’t expect them to look for Cyvee in Vietnam for an acquisition.
Another problem with Cyvee is that News Corp has developed a reputation adapting their business models in other countries on their own rather than acquiring someone else. Remember Ms. Deng’s MySpace China, and Murdoch’s StarTV expansion around Asia? Therefore, while LinkedIn can fetch its owners some $4-6 billion from Mr. Murdoch (this is my own valuation of LinkedIn based on their current revenues/profits and an estimated “social networking multiple”), a price for CyVee would be at a far horizon.
May be time for another exit strategy? Maybe, but CyVee needs to address its downward picture first.