Slumber party! Stardoll merges with a sleepy Piczo

Piczo, the long-lost Myspace for teens, today merges with Stardoll, the online entertainment destination for young women, and Stardoll’s other property, However, it’s probably closer to a takeover than a merger as Piczo’s primarily UK user-base has been dwindling. The three sites will now make up the Stardoll Network, reaching a total of 20 million users a month, most between 5 (yes, five) and 20 years old. However, one does wonder about the value creation here since the young demographic is not known for its affluence, other than ‘pester-power’. Bebo was recently called out as not being as valuable as previously thought for the same reason. But at least the new Stardoll network will be focused. And presumably U.S. Venture Partners and Mangrove Capital Partners will be glad to exit after investing $11 Million in Series C funding in July 2007.

Piczo has really struggled against the MySpace and Facebook giants, and various strategies, like launching a pseudo API, have predictably not helped. The rot clearly set in back in 2007.

But if anyone can make the new network work it’s Stardoll, which is growing at a fair clip. With more than 27 million members worldwide, Stardoll is aimed at young girls who want to dress up virtual dolls. Around 51% of Stardoll traffic is from Europe, 40% from the Americas and the remaining 9% originates from Asia-Pacific. The median age for members is 15 years old. It also has a growing user base in the Middle East too where trying one new dresses in the real world has a few restrictions.

Piczo was launched in founded in 2004 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California with most of its members in the U.S. and UK. It will continue to be run as an independent site as part of the
Stardoll Network.