JEFFREY S. PETERSON was the original founder of Quepasa Corporation, a Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange traded public company (Nasdaq: QPSA, NYSE Euronext: QPSA) that was the first nationally branded, publicly traded online community for English and Spanish speaking Hispanics in the USA.
Under Peterson’s leadership, during a period of approximately ten years commencing at the dawn of the .COM “internet boom” of the late 1990’s, Quepasa became a nationally known public company while achieving a peak stock market capitalization in excess of $450 million USD.
Key investors in Quepasa included institutional investors Sony Corp., Fidelity, Telemundo, football star John Elway, Gateway Computer Company (now a subsidiary of Acer) and pop superstar Gloria Estefan. Quepasa was continually ranked as the #1 U.S. Hispanic online community, beating competitors Starmedia and Yahoo! en Español in competitive rankings. At Quepasa, Peterson was the largest single shareholder and held the positions of Founder, CEO, Chairman, President, and Chief Technology Officer.
Mr. Peterson is a lifelong software engineer and data architect who has received national and international media attention for his accomplishments in the technology sector.
Jeff has served on the Board of Directors of privately and publicly held technology related companies as an investor and in management capacities in the United States, Latin America and Asia. In connection with private and public-sector initiatives, Peterson has worked with two Mexican Presidents as well as the former President of Costa Rica (Figueres) and the former President of the Philippines (Aquino).
After almost ten years of market volatility, management changes, complex litigation and a recovery from the .com crash of 2001, Quepasa recovered hundreds of millions of dollars of market value under Peterson’s leadership.
Although inaccurate media reports predicted Quepasa would “go out of business,” a restored, thriving Quepasa (2.0) was sold by Jeff to a investor group led by then-venture capitalist Richard Scott, who later became Governor of Florida and now serves as a United States Senator from Florida.
As the top bilingual English/Spanish online community, Quepasa was the first Social Network to trade on a stock exchange in the United States. The second was Chinese Social Network RenRen in the year 2011, followed by Facebook in 2012.
At the time of Governor Scott’s acquisition, Quepasa was again experiencing rapid growth and a market value of nearly $200 million, listed as the largest pure-play bilingulal English/Spanish, U.S. Hispanic-targeted Social Network in the history of North America, primarily serving The United States and Mexico.
In 2012, Quepasa completed a corporate merger and changed its corporate name to MeetMe. Post-merger, Quepasa’s registered user base was merged with that of MeetMe. The company is still in business today with the same taxpayer ID and SEC filer number as when Jeff first started it, with the new name “the MEET Group, Inc.” (Nasdaq: MEET). After several additional acquisitions, it is the new corporate owner of famous Internet brands Skout, Tagged, and hi5.