Betaworks buys Digg for $500K

Joseph Walker and Spencer E. Ante for the Wall Street Journal:

New York technology development firm Betaworks has agreed to buy news-sharing website Digg, in an attempt to revive a company that was early to social media but outmaneuvered by rivals like Facebook Inc. FB -0.52% and Twitter Inc.

Under the deal, which Digg confirmed closed Thursday, Betaworks is buying the Digg brand, website and technology. The price was just $500,000, three people familiar with the matter said—a pittance for a company that raised $45 million from prominent investors including LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and Marc Andreessen.

Digg is a social news site that got its start in 2004 as a way for users to put together collections of news and information that interested them, with a voting system to determine the popularity of information. It’s been overshadowed by other social networks like Reddit.

Digg had already been carved up by the time Betaworks put its bid in – Social Code hired half the company’s staff in May. Sources told the Journal that other companies offered a higher price for Digg’s assets, but Betaworks offered the best plan to actually resuscitate the brand.