Social Network TeeBeeDee Shutting Down in Two Weeks

Robin Wolaner, the founder and CEO of two-year-old TeeBeeDee, a social network for 40-plus-year-olds, says the company has run out of steam. Or, more specifically, money. She published the following note to readers at the site yesterday:

A Message I Didn’t Want to Send

June 29, 2009 2:55 p.m.

I regret to have to inform you that TeeBeeDee will be shutting down by July 13, 2009. We thought we had raised sufficient money to get us to a sustainable business, but many factors changed in the 2 years since our launch. As you have no doubt noticed in the past few months, we lacked the resources to continue developing the product to meet the needs of our community.

We will have much to say to you, and to each other, in these next two weeks. Just as we’ve shared the experiences of our lifetimes here at TeeBeeDee, we will be sharing this goodbye. For me, I can say that the people I have met at this site, and those with whom I’ve worked these past years, have been a revelation. I have learned so much from so many of you. We have thrilled to marriages, and romances, and lifelong friendships, and support to those in need. Anyone who says “virtual” friendships are less than real ones, didn’t spend time in this community.

Kat has posted tips about how to save what matters to you at TBD. And 500 TBDers have already joined a network at Ning: to stay connected.

As the founder, I’d like to close by saying that while our business opportunity proved disappointing, the contributions from our members rarely disappointed. I am proud to call so many of you my friends, and thank you for caring about TeeBeeDee.



Wolaner is a longtime publishing executive, who founded and served as CEO of Parenting magazine before moving on to become CEO of Sunset Magazine and an executive VP at CNET Networks (now part of CBS).

TeeBeeDee, short for “to be determined,” advertised itself as a “social network for grown-ups.” Unfortunately for the company, baby boomers have — like everyone else — flocked to Facebook in recent years. In fact, back in February, Facebook reported that its fast-growing segment is women aged 55 and older, and that 45 percent of Facebook is now over age 26.

It’s too bad for Wolaner, who’s well-respected in the Valley. At the same time, I won’t miss being served TeeBeeDee ads every time I open Facebook, where TeeBeeDee has been advertising heavily. I’m not approaching 40 quite yet, and frankly, I didn’t love being reminded that it’s not a lifetime away anymore. (I’m vain; what can I tell you.)

TBD had raised $6.4 million over three rounds from Shasta Ventures, Monitor Ventures, and angel investors, beginning in 2007. Shelby Bonnie, who helped cofound CNET with Halsey Minor, is a TBD board member; so is Shasta managing director Tod Francis.

(H/T: TechCrunch, which discovered the posting.)