“I always envisioned that he would go in this direction. I mean, this was a kid that had every single video game system there was as it happened,” says Neil Bauman, father of eBaum’s World creator, Eric Bauman and vice president of the company.
The 27 year old Bauman (soon to be 28 in September) just made his entertainment website, one of top six video-serving sites in the world by
selling the company. On Thursday, Bauman finalized the acquisition with HandHeld Entertainment, Inc. based in San Francisco. HandHeld has relationships with AOL Video, FOX Mobile and Facebook.
Bauman began the website from his bedroom computer nine years ago in Webster. Since then, the user-based entertainment site has snowballed in growth. The site offers a litany of different video clips, photos, games and jokes. During the last 12 months, eBaum’s World generated 2.5 billion page views and video streams. The average eBaum’s user stays on the site for 10 minutes.
“To be honest with you, Eric never wants to sell, this is, he uh, it was almost little post-partum depression when we came to terms with this. This is his only career, as young as he is for nine years,” says Neil who admits the time had finally come for eBaum’s World to make a move.
"We've kind of outgrown our skin here a little bit, there's a limited amount of resources, we're not in the major arena yet we are a major force in the arena.”
The offering price...was more than right.
“Fifty-two point five million dollars, 20 million cash at closing and then about 10, almost 11 million over three years, each year,” says Neil.
The most promising part of the sale to both Eric and his father, was being able to keep the present headquarters of eBaum’s World in Rochester.
“This was one of the biggest reasons we liked the deal with handheld, they are not going to as they say "a new broom sweeps clean"...we will have complete control of EBaum's world as far as operationally, and creatively.”
Not only does Eric become a millionaire out of the deal, his 17 colleagues at eBaum's World profit too from the acquisition.
“The whole staff here is involved in the earn-outs, so they're all going to profit greatly from the transaction,” says Neil.
As for the future “look” of eBaum’s World, Neil says the site’s devotees can expect the same product with just a few changes.
“Nothing's really going to change but I can tell you there *are* some really neat, innovative changes that will be coming. No major facelifts but changes to the site that we think will be real positive.”
Eric will move on to become a key player for HandHeld Entertainment Inc, working with their various video websites. He also has a two book deals in the works, one of which is with publisher Harper Collins.
Find out more about eBaum’s World by visiting: www.eBaumsWorld.com