Exit This Way

Facebook Cofounder Chris Hughes Sold Jumo for $62K and Five MacBook Pros

Chris Hughes

Back in August, Fast Company reported that Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes had sold his startup Jumo, a social network to connect people to nonprofits, to GOOD, the magazine publisher and digital media platform, for undisclosed terms.

Betabeat reported the terms were for $0 and a graceful exit.

Our story said Mr. Hughes’s company was a flop, and that the sale was more of a face-saving effort than a true acquisition. “Rather than folding the grant-funded, well-meaning and inordinately high-profile startup and admitting what would surely be a very public failure, he arranged a deal with an old friend,” we wrote at the time. Ben Goldhirsh, who went to boarding school with Mr. Hughes, is the CEO and owner of GOOD.

Betabeat has now obtained documents pertaining to the sale, which confirm every bit of our theory, except one. At the time, Mr. Hughes insisted the sale price was not $0, and he was right: The sale had not yet been approved by the state attorney general, a requirement because of its nonprofit status.

The sale was approved and the approval was filed in the Supreme Court of New York on December 30, 2011.

Jumo, a nonprofit corporation which raised more than $3.5 million in grant money from the Ford Foundation, the Omidyar Network and the Knight Foundation., among others, was not sold for $0. It was sold for $62,221, based on an appraisal of Jumo’s value by Morrison, Brown, Argiz and Farra. Read More

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Facebook Cofounder Chris Hughes Named Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of The New Republic

via flickr.com/docsearls

It looks like we can cut the question mark at the end of “Chris Hughes: Media Mogul?” The New York Times Media Decoder blog reports that the rumors were true, Mr. Hughes will indeed head up the 98-year-old neoliberal magazine, which has struggled with diminishing profits and dwindling circulation.

Although the terms of the deal were not revealed, Mr. Hughes will become the magazine’s editor-in-chief and publisher. And they’ve wasted no time updating the publication’s Wikipedia page. After spearheading President Obama’s digital campaign in 2008, Mr. Hughes went on to found Jumo, a social network for nonprofits and activists which was “acquired” by GOOD for $0.

What’s the former Facebooker’s plan to rescue old media? According to Media Decoder, Mr. Hughes will focus on “distributing the magazine’s long-form journalism through tablet computers like the iPad.” Read More

Second Acts

Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes: Media Mogul?


Another member of the Facebook mafia struggles to find an equally fulfilling pursuit. Chris Hughes, one of Mark Zuckerberg’s college roommates, a co-founder of Facebook and its first head of publicity (in the movie, he’s one of the guys on the couch), went from startup founder to politics all star; working on Barack Obama’s digital campaign and then launching Jumo, a socially-minded startup that shut down in August. Now the 28-year-old millionaire (reportedly $700 million) is moving into the media scene.  Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

The Knight Foundation Taps Jumo’s Chris Hughes to Go After Media Like a Venture Capitalist

Mr. Hughes via Crunchbase

The Knight Foundation, which sponsors innovative projects in journalism, just named the “first ever digital appointments” to its board, reports Businessweek.

They include Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, Joichi Ito from MIT’s Media Lab (an early investor in Twitter, Flickr and Technorati), as well as John Palfrey, who runs Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and works as an adviser at Highland Capital Partners.

Mr. Hughes told Businessweek, “We need to be approaching these questions and these problems with an attitude more akin to venture capital, than with the attitude of a foundation.” Read More

Seed Stage Slaughter

Jumo ‘Acquired’ for $0 and a Graceful Exit

chris hughes

UPDATE, March 13, 2012: The final acquisition price was not $0. It was $62,221. Original story follows.

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has struggled with his ambitious solo start-up, the social network for activism Jumo, ever since its bumpy launch. Waning traffic and disinterested users were making it obvious that the site was not going to catch on, despite multiple redesigns; a tough pill to swallow for the wunderkind whose second act after Facebook, online strategy at the Obama presidential campaign, was another huge success story.

But Mr. Hughes found a solution: rather than folding the grant-funded, well-meaning and inordinately high-profile start-up and admitting what would surely be a very public failure, he arranged a deal with an old friend. GOOD, the publisher-turned-digital-media-platform with a focus on good design and social causes, announced today that it has acquired Jumo for undisclosed terms. But the “acquisition” is not quite the earth-shaker it was made out to be. Betabeat has learned the terms amounted to $0, a loose “advisory” role for Mr. Hughes at GOOD, and the opportunity for Jumo’s 16 employees to interview for the start-up’s new owner. Read More

Taylor Tees Off

A little more than one hour after publishing today’s “Taylor Tees Off” column trashing charity social network Jumo, Betabeat columnist Mike Taylor received the following email message from the organization: Read More

Taylor Tees Off

Nobody Cares About Jumo


If there’s one thing I hate more than pretending not to have any change when inept accordion-playing buskers pass a hat around the subway car, it’s Jumo, the ugly nonprofit Facebook for charities. It doesn’t work and will probably never accomplish anything. Read More