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Bricklink Special Announcement: new owner

simplyoooosimplyoooo Member Posts: 8
edited June 2013 in Buying & Selling Topics
copied from Bricklink (link: http://www.bricklink.com/announcement.html)
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To the BrickLink Community:

About a week ago I posted a special message to thank all of you for supporting us over the nearly three years since my son Dan died. I thank all those who sent personal messages to me about what BrickLink has meant to them. In my message, I mentioned some progress we made, and also the challenges we faced. Good news remaining is that, despite the challenges, business has been brisk and even impressive. When I took over the website in the name of my son, the representational visitor log (front page of BrickLink) was at about 50 million visitors. Today, it is at nearly 144 million visitors and counting. Nearly two-thirds of all those who visited BrickLink over the 13 years since its inception have arrived here in the short time we’ve run BrickLink.com. Also, we’ve partnered with security experts and have been able to make the website safer than it has ever been. I’m proud of these facts and I again thank all of you for your patience in sticking with us to this day.

But it’s a new era, and much needs to be done to bring BrickLink to a higher level and to become the site whose potential all of you see and we want to reach as well.

Thus, I am announcing that I am stepping down as CEO of BrickLink and have handed the website over to the committed and competent hands of a new owner, Jung-Ju “Jay” Kim, founder of Nexon, one of the world’s largest online game companies.

I completely endorse Jay to take the reins of BrickLink. He has the knowledge, resources and capabilities needed for the job. He has a passion, not just for all things LEGO, but also for BrickLink. Like most of you, he has been a member of the community for years. He has tremendous respect for what Dan accomplished while he was alive. He also has a compelling desire to carry forward Dan’s vision and his guiding principles that were laid down more than a decade ago. Jay and his team are ready to work toward “BrickLink 2.0”, as well as continuing hardware architecture and application upgrades.

It’s a bright future for BrickLink, and I intend to be a part of it along with the rest of the BrickLink Community. Larry and I will be staying on in an advisory-consulting role to the new owners. Eric Smith will be staying on as Admin to ensure a smooth, seamless transition with minimal interruption.

Part of that transition will include relocation of the BrickLink site to a different data center. Later today you will learn more about that server relocation and the migration schedule, which has been carefully designed to minimize downtime.

It’s been a great three years. I did my best and I am sorry that the hacking incidents waylaid us from doing more, earlier. I am proud of the amazing growth of BrickLink, thanks to all of you.

As hard as it was to give up our treasured BrickLink that Dan loved so much, I felt it was the right thing to do, not for me, but for the Community. And, as always, it is that worldwide community that matters to me most, just as it mattered to Dan. That is why I am passing the torch to new leadership. It is what Dan would have wanted me to do.

As I mentioned, I will remain on with BrickLink and will act as an ambassador and link to BrickLink’s lineal past. Please feel free to contact me any time at [email protected] I still want to hear from you.

Thank you and let’s all look forward to tomorrow.

Best regards,

Eliska Jezkova, former CEO of BrickLink.com



Message from Jung-Ju “Jay” Kim, founder of the online game company Nexon, incoming owner of BrickLink.com:

(As of June 5th, the Hong Kong-based company Bricklink Limited has acquired the assets of BrickLink.com. Bricklink Limited is a subsidiary of NXMH.)

Dear BrickLink Community,

I am extremely pleased to be taking over the operations of BrickLink.com. I’ve been a LEGO fan for 40 years and an avid user of BrickLink.com for over a decade. My first plans are to upgrade the website, and do our best to make users happier and more prosperous, while staying true to the original vision of BrickLink.com founder, Daniel Jezek. We will work hard in order to ensure that BrickLink.com becomes stable, secure and as user-friendly as possible.

I want to sincerely thank the family of Daniel Jezek, especially his mother Eliska, as well as the BrickLink.com Community, for the opportunity to upgrade and operate such a beloved website as BrickLink.com. In order to expedite the process of renovating BrickLink.com, I and Bricklink Limited will be asking users to e-mail us with their ideas for the improved functionality of the site, as well as any current issues that need to be addressed in order to provide users with the best possible selling and buying experience. We’ll establish those lines of communication very soon.

Thank you for your continued patronage and support of BrickLink.com

Jung-Ju Kim, incoming owner of BrickLink.com
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Discuss :)

Emma
«13456

Comments

  • emilewskiemilewski CT, USAMember Posts: 475
    You beat me to the post by 2 minutes. Wow. I think this is excellent news really. The new owners will have to jump in and get a move on but it sounds like the new company will have the resources to make good things happen.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,557
    Well hopefully they will do something with their new investment.
  • BeavBeav Member Posts: 303
    Exciting news, look forward to see how they go on.
  • jasorjasor United StatesMember Posts: 839
    and the competitor vacuum closes....
  • legoprodslegoprods SpainMember Posts: 445
    edited June 2013
    Just... unexpected at the least! I had a strange reaction when a notification came out on my phone from Bricklink's twitter feed:

    -"BrickLink has been sold to Nexon."

    +"Wait, what?"

    We shall see what the future may bring. One thing I really, really, really would not hope to see, is to have BL become eBay-like. Sadly, that might be just what it needs to survive. At least the new owner likes Lego.
  • jasorjasor United StatesMember Posts: 839
    per Wiki:

    Nexon went public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on December 13, 2011 in an initial public offering, the largest in Japan for 2011 and the second largest by a technological company for 2011 worldwide

  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,003
    edited June 2013
    I'm not the only one thinking finally, am I?
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,919
    edited June 2013
    Selling to a publicly-traded company equals a constant need for higher revenues. That can drive innovation and a quality improvements, but that can also drive higher fees and short-term thinking.
    BrickDancer
  • jasorjasor United StatesMember Posts: 839
    Nexon has dealt with security before, as well....hopefully, they now have some experts in-house:

    http://siliconangle.com/blog/2011/11/29/nexon’s-maplestory-hacked-13-2-million-korean-online-gamers’-data-exposed/
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    jasor said:

    and the competitor vacuum closes....

    Maybe, maybe not... depends on how long it takes to revise the Bricklink site vs. creating a competitor.

    However this is what I said needed to happen in the other closed thread, or at least it was one of the three things anyway.

    We'll likely never know, but it would be interesting to know what it sold for.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,557


    We'll likely never know, but it would be interesting to know what it sold for.

    It sure would.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,267
    prevere said:

    Selling to a publicly-traded company equals a constant need for higher revenues. That can drive innovation and a quality improvements, but that can also drive higher fees and short-term thinking.

    The notice didn't say that Nexon bought BL just that Jay who founded Nexon is now the new owner. Hopefully that means he personally is taking it over and will treat it from the LEGO enthusiast point of view.
    legoprods
  • kylejohnson11kylejohnson11 Member Posts: 508
    edited June 2013
    graphite said:

    prevere said:

    Selling to a publicly-traded company equals a constant need for higher revenues. That can drive innovation and a quality improvements, but that can also drive higher fees and short-term thinking.

    The notice didn't say that Nexon bought BL just that Jay who founded Nexon is now the new owner. Hopefully that means he personally is taking it over and will treat it from the LEGO enthusiast point of view.
    From the notice: "Bricklink Limited is a subsidiary of NXMH"

    This was also just posted by Eric on BrickLink

    "The corporate structure is a bit confusing, here's what I was told:

    NXC - overall holding company.
    Nexon Japan - publicly traded on Tokyo Stock Exchange, wholly-owned subsidiary
    of NXC.
    Nexon Korea - wholly-owned subsidiary of NXC.
    NXMH - another subsidiary, based in Brussels, focusing on investments in European
    market.

    The NXC site is at http://www.nxc.com. Most of the text is graphical so Chrome
    can't translate it for me.

    I will put in a request to the owners to provide an explanation of the corporate
    structure for those people who are interested.

    - Eric"
  • legoprodslegoprods SpainMember Posts: 445
    BTW, thread going on at the moment over there, for those who want to read further: http://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=732966
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    In some ways this is the optimum time to release a competitor. There was a decent amount of emotional ties with bricklink, they've been broken with being sold. Of course, the risks have also increased with a new owner presumably looking to actually improve it.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,557

    Of course, the risks have also increased with a new owner presumably looking to actually improve it.

    And importantly having the skills to improve it.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    In some ways this is the optimum time to release a competitor. There was a decent amount of emotional ties with bricklink, they've been broken with being sold. Of course, the risks have also increased with a new owner presumably looking to actually improve it.

    Yes, there are many posts from people saying just that, they were loyal to Dan's family and the community, now that it is a corporate owned business, that loyalty is no more.

    If a viable competitor showed up tomorrow, more people would likely move than a week ago.
  • ljames28ljames28 Member Posts: 88

    If a viable competitor showed up tomorrow, more people would likely move than a week ago.

    I hope you're right on that. I wondered if people might have more "hope" now, and be more likely to stick around.

  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    Glad people are feeling competition is still viable after this announcement. It should be healthy.

    I wonder if all the offers of technical help from the community were turned away because this deal was under negotiation. And whether negotiations sped up once competitors came into the picture.
    kylejohnson11indigobox
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ Yes... This deal didn't happen in the past 5 days, it was in progress long before the first posting from Dan's Mother a week ago.

    It may well have been in the works for a year, we just don't know. Not that it matters, but it appears they were ready to move quickly, they are moving web site hosts tomorrow.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,435
    I had wondered if a few of us could have gathered enough funds to buy Bricklink ourselves.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,003
    ^ I doubt it, as far as I'm aware, usual practice is for companies to be sold at around 10x current annual profit.

    Now I don't know what the profit of BL is, but I'd guess somewhere between £200,000 and £1m, which would mean you'd need between £2m and £10m.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    any multiple of profit is a very basic calculation that gets you started but not much more (and normally much less than 10x although depends on sector. ownership of assets etc) - you'd look at future earnings potential (which in the case of bricklink would seriously reduce the multiple of current profit) and the tangible assets of bricklink are very limited.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited June 2013
    The new owner's net worth is estimated by Forbes to be $1.6 billion (down from its peak of $4.3 billion in 2011). To catch his interest, it seems pretty likely that the strength of Bricklink's current and future business was determined to be worth more than the $1 million (and less) valuation some people here formulated, doesn't it?
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,267
    ^ Seeing that he's claimed to be a long time LEGO fan I wouldn't assume the only consideration here would be the magnitude of profit it could provide. But also, seeing that he is a successful business person means that he wouldn't do it if he didn't see some benefit.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    ^ I doubt it, as far as I'm aware, usual practice is for companies to be sold at around 10x current annual profit.

    Now I don't know what the profit of BL is, but I'd guess somewhere between £200,000 and £1m, which would mean you'd need between £2m and £10m.

    If anyone wants to buy my business for 10x current annual profit, I'm happy to sell, no questions asked... I won't even take my favorite coffee cup, you can have it! :)

    10x current annual profit for a sales price is crazy for most private businesses. There are exceptions, but they would be rare.

    2-4x current annual profit is much closer to reality. And that is for current, stable businesses.
  • jasorjasor United StatesMember Posts: 839
    This proves if you're an AFOL, you'll do anything to protect your brick sourcing. ;)
    JenniBrickarmorAFFOL_Shellz_BellzPitfall69
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited June 2013
    Sure, I'm not saying it's the only consideration, but we're talking about a billionaire that's involved in the operation of a multi-billion dollar business and nearly orchestrated buying Electronic Arts for $5 Billion a couple years ago. Even by the wildest overvaluations, the Bricklink deal is going to be peanuts comparatively, but it sure seems likely that it was valued far in excess of a million rather than a million or less.
    kylejohnson11
  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    Never underestimate the love for LEGO!
  • kylejohnson11kylejohnson11 Member Posts: 508
    Will the BrickLink server move that Eric has discussed on BrickLink have any affect on BrickSet?
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited June 2013
    ^^^ I wouldn't be so sure, in fact I'd say the opposite, given that he is worth 1.6 billion any profit that comes from bricklink is going to be less than peanuts which to me suggests that the overriding factor was some kind of love of lego. In fact its likely little more than a play thing, just where as many buy a sports team, he's bought a LEGO selling website.
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734

    Will the BrickLink server move that Eric has discussed on BrickLink have any affect on BrickSet?

    As far as I know, Brickset has no relation to BrickLink.

  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    edited June 2013
    rocao said:

    Sure, I'm not saying it's the only consideration, but we're talking about a billionaire that's involved in the operation of a multi-billion dollar business and nearly orchestrated buying Electronic Arts for $5 Billion a couple years ago. Even by the wildest overvaluations, the bricklink deal is going to be peanuts comparatively, but it sure seems likely that it was valued far in excess of a million rather than a million or less.

    One such consideration would be for the enormous potential growth. As it is now, Bricklink really only reaches and serves the hard-core LEGO geeks (like us!). It is not marketed to, or really approachable by, the average mom or dad who needs to pick up some replacement pieces or old sets. there is a big untapped market out there. I'm sure the new owner knows this, and ultimately has plans to do something about it.

    Of course, this is going to cause no small amount of tension among some of the current hardcore bricklinkers, as many of their strongly held beliefs as to what the site should be and act like are completely at odds with the changes that would be necessary when expanding the reach to the "common man". It will be an interesting ride.

    Oh, and regarding fees - sure, they can say they aren't changing, which is smart during the transition phase, but it's not set in stone forever. If anyone thinks they are going to invest the capital to buy the company, then more to completely re-write it, and never raise fees - well, good luck with that. There will eventually be either fee increases, ad revenue, or both. That's pretty much inevitable.

  • kylejohnson11kylejohnson11 Member Posts: 508
    binaryeye said:


    As far as I know, Brickset has no relation to BrickLink.

    http://brickset.com/news/article/?ID=6076
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734

    binaryeye said:


    As far as I know, Brickset has no relation to BrickLink.

    http://brickset.com/news/article/?ID=6076
    That only suggests they use the same hosting company.
    Legoboy
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    legoprods said:

    BTW, thread going on at the moment over there, for those who want to read further: http://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=732966

    I love all the sellers who are moaning and groaning and think the sky is falling. They have no clue that this is the best possible thing times 10 bazillion that could possibly be happening to them.
    kylejohnson11dougts
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited June 2013

    ^^^ I wouldn't be so sure, in fact I'd say the opposite, given that he is worth 1.6 billion any profit that comes from bricklink is going to be less than peanuts which to me suggests that the overriding factor was some kind of love of lego. In fact its likely little more than a play thing, just where as many buy a sports team, he's bought a LEGO selling website.

    Again, I wasn't saying that a passion for LEGO and interest in Bricklink were absent from the equation; his statement already indicates this passion. My assertion is that Bricklink's profit, profit potential, and subsequent valuation are likely much higher than that which was estimated for it to be worthwhile considering the size of his other involvements. And though I'll concede he doesn't have to be any more involved than putting a capable management team in place, he's still putting his name and reputation behind a business, and that isn't done lightly.
  • legoprodslegoprods SpainMember Posts: 445
    ^^ Are they?

    I actually thought for the first time that this has been the first time I've seen everyone happy (or almost).

    It actually felt today like a community, with Admin joking and people chatting.

    I think almost everyone there is pretty excited about the upcoming on Bricklink, and less than a 5% of the people are indeed moaning. Happy times on BL's forum!

    I mean... when have you seen Admin Eric post more than once in a week and joke around with us?!
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    "all the sellers who are moaning and groaning" != "all the sellers are moaning and groaning"
    legoprods
  • legoprodslegoprods SpainMember Posts: 445
    ^GMT +1's time to sleep now. ;-)

  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,805
    binaryeye said:

    Will the BrickLink server move that Eric has discussed on BrickLink have any affect on BrickSet?

    As far as I know, Brickset has no relation to BrickLink.

    No relation, but until now have been hosted by the same company at the same data centre.
    kylejohnson11LadyLovesLegos
  • TheOneVeyronianTheOneVeyronian Help me, I'm inside the M25! (UK)Member Posts: 1,362
    Don't know what to say, having been a member of BrickLink for just four months. Believe it or not, I was actually directed to BrickLink by Lego Customer Service themselves.
    But may BrickLink evolve and continue to supply AFOL's with Lego. In many cases it is far cheaper than eBay, which is why I like it. Wonder if this new ownership will fix the hacking problems and frequent downing of the site.
  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379
    I'm happy for the change. I've been buying and selling on Bricklink for 7 years now and my little business wouldn't be where it is today without Bricklink. For all of the faults that may exist in the interface, I still think it is pretty darn good. The fact that it is being taken over by a professional organization bodes well for the future, particularly if they can draw more casual buyers in.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,267
    It would be amazing if the can fix the site, keep the fees the same, and spend some money to draw in a huge chunk of buyers that only go to ebay when looking for Lego.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    graphite said:

    It would be amazing if the can fix the site, keep the fees the same, and spend some money to draw in a huge chunk of buyers that only go to ebay when looking for Lego.

    In most things in life, you can have good, fast, or cheap, pick any two...

    You're asking for all three. :)
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,267
    Every company I've worked for has asked me for all three. The least I can do is pass that on =)
    LegoManiaccJenni
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    edited June 2013
    Does anyone know if it is technically possible for Bricklink to take my wanted list and spit out the cheapest way to acquire the parts including shipping? I know it is not now but is this something the new owner with considerable resources would be able to do? Or would this take just a ridiculous amount of computer power and time? One other change I would like to see is the ability to buy instantly rather than having to wait for the seller to quote the total price. It will be interesting to see what the new owner implements.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    ^ both are easily doable, and they would be crazy not to implement these features.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    graphite said:

    Every company I've worked for has asked me for all three. The least I can do is pass that on =)

    I totally agree... and you should tell your boss at those companies that they need to pick two, or they are just going to be sad with the results.

    Of course, that only works if everyone involved is professional, I know not everyone is. :) That is why I work for myself.
  • MathBuilderMathBuilder Member Posts: 150


    If anyone wants to buy my business for 10x current annual profit, I'm happy to sell, no questions asked... I won't even take my favorite coffee cup, you can have it! :)

    What about the DS cookie Jar? Coffee/Tea but no cookies is a dealbreaker!


    In most things in life, you can have good, fast, or cheap, pick any two...
    You're asking for all three. :)

    I'm not an expert, but I believe they are called Quick**s...
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