We’re now starting to get a good idea of how much BlackBerry Messenger could be worth to BlackBerry. Now that WhatsApp has been bought for $16 billion and Viber has been bought for $900 million, we’ve got a basic floor and ceiling for BBM’s value, although the messaging service is probably much closer to Viber than it is to WhatsApp.
That’s not a bad thing for BlackBerry, however — anonymous investor Quoth the Raven does some back-of-the-envelope calculations over at Seeking Alpha and concludes that BBM is likely worth around $2.5 billion right now. QTR is long BlackBerry, we should note, which gives him an obvious incentive to be bullish on whatever the company does. Nonetheless, his calculations strike us as within the realm of possibility.
“It wasn’t a surprise to me that when the WhatsApp announcement came out that BlackBerry shares got a bit of a jolt, running as much as 8% after hours on Wednesday and now currently poking around 4% up pre-market on Thursday,” he writes. “The reasoning behind this is that WhatsApp backhandedly put a valuation on the company’s BBM app. The valuation works out to about $42/user. BBM has over 80 million users — roughly 1/6th of WhatsApp, which would (performing a back of the napkin valuation) put a value of around 2.5 billion on BBM.”
Of course, all of this is potential value and we have no idea if any buyer would pay $2.5 billion for BBM right now. BlackBerry also has some work to do when it comes to monetizing BBM’s user base, although WhatsApp sold for a ridiculous amount of money despite relatively tiny revenue streams.
Nevertheless, if you’re going to make a bullish case for BlackBerry then the potential value of BBM is a logical place to start.