Friendster was the social network that everyone was talking about before Facebook was around. Friendster raised $50 million in venture capital and gained tens of millions of users. Eventually Malaysian payments company MOL Global acquired Friendster in 2009 for $40 million. Now Friendster is removing all photos, blog posts, comments, testimonials, shout-outs, etc. from the social network. You can download or export your data using the Friendster Exporter App. After May 31st, Friendster is going to re-launch as an entertainment portal. [TechCrunch]
Parody news agency The Onion decided to poke a little bit of fun at Friendster.com. They made visiting Friendster.com sound like an excavation. Friendster was actually sold to MOL in December 2009.
About a week ago Friendster re-branded themselves and was rumored to be for sale. Malaysian company MOL Global has bought out Friendster.com, the social network a majority of us used before Facebook was introduced. Friendster’s biggest downfall was when they hit a scaling wall. Friendster really started slowing down at one point causing their users to move on to the next big thing faster than they expected. At least that is the reason why I switched.
The acquisition price was not disclosed, but it is rumored to have sold for about $100 million. The company raised about $45 million in funding since they started. Not a bad return for investors. Friendster launched in 2001. Below is the full press release.
Friendster relaunched their service with several new features. The new motto of the site is “Connecting Smiles.” After watching the video below, it seems like that there is nothing new about the service. Friendster already has photos, games, and virtual goods. It seems like that the only thing they changed is themes. When I think of Friendster, I don’t think of “having a great time with some of your closest friends” as the video below suggests.
Regardless Friendster still has millions of users and is a top 200 website. This is why the company is attempting to sell themselves for “more than $100 million” according to Reuters. Friendster CEO Richard Kimber even mentioned that the company is currently negotiating with a shortlist of buyers.
Some of the early potential suitors that considered buying Friendster already since the company put themselves on sale this past summer include Tencent, Facebook, Oak Pacific, and Softbank. The company may even sell off as early as the end of the month.
Friendster Inc. is a social network that is big in Asia, but saw their market share in the U.S. plummet after Facebook and MySpace took over. Friendster has launched support for users in the Phillippines and abroad to send and receive money through GCASH’s payment solution platform.
Friendster is the first social network to allow money transfer via a partner platform. This service may be useful for Friendster’s 13 million active Phillippines members. Friendster has about 95 million users worldwide. But I only login to Friendster to delete spam messages that show up in my inbox via the social network.
In order to initiate the serive, login to Friendster and associate friends with their GCASH mobile phone numbers. A GCASH account must be owned by both users involved in the transaction. Transaction fees cost about P2.50.
“By enabling online money transfer, we’ve made it significantly easier for users in the Philippines and their family and friends all over the world to securely send money easily, affordably and quickly,” stated David Jones, VP of Global Marketing at Friendster. “With over 90 percent of internet users in the Philippines on Friendster and many Filipinos around the world, including overseas foreign workers, also on Friendster, millions can now transfer money with ease directly from their preferred social network.”
Friendster Inc., a top social network that saw Facebook take away a lot of their market share in the U.S. has announced that they have expanded offices and partnerships. Friendster opened a new office in Singapore and in Sydney, Australia.
In terms of growing teams and expanding, Friendster is doing so on a global scale. The CEO of Friendster, Richard Kimber and newly added hires for the social network’s marketing, sales, and business development teams are all based in Sydney. The Singapore office will bring on additional sales, marketing, and business development teams. Friendster opened up a new office in Mountain View, California where the executive staff and employees in all other departments will run their operations. Later this year, the office in Manila, Phillipines will be expanding.
In Singapore, Friendster receives 1 million monthly unique visitors so Pixel Media will serve as their advertising broker in that region. Pixel will also broker ads for Friendster’s traffic in Malaysia which comes out to be 3.6 million monthly unique visitors.
“The expansion of our team, offices and sales partnerships in Asia not only sets 2009 up to be an exciting year, but helps us pursue the necessary monetization opportunities available to Friendster in our core Asian markets,” stated Kimber. “As we move deeper into 2009, we will continue to build upon our direct sales, product, engineering, operations, marketing and finance teams to execute on our strategy and unwavering focus on Asia Pacific.”
Kimber joined Friendster in August 2008. Before this position, he was Google’s Managing Director of Sales and Operations for South East Asia. He was managing 1,000 people around the time he departed. Friendster has about $45 million in funding since they started in 2002. Investors include Battery Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Kleiner Perkins, DAG Ventures, and IDG Ventures.
Friendster Inc. is in the midst of a heavy transition. Today the social network company announced that they have raised $20 million in funding, led by IDG Ventures. Friendster also announced today that they have hired Richard Kimber.
With this new round of funding, Friendster has raised $45 million to date. The $20 million in funding was Friendster’s Series D. Previous investors include Battery Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and DAG Ventures.
Kimber ran the South Asian operations and partnerships for Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). Kimber is one of many executives that have been plucked from Google by social networks. Facebook hired Josef Desimone and Sheryl Sandberg from Google within the past year.
Ironically, Google made an exclusive search and ad deal with Friendster around March 2007. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) was Friendster’s previous search partner.
Kent Lindstrom, Friendster’s former CEO will become Senior VP of Corporate Development of Friendster. Lindstrom worked as a senior executive for Friendster since 2006.
As Friendster continues to increase in popularity around Asia, the social network has opened offices in the Philippines and Singapore. Friendster is the number 1 social network in Asia, except for China. QQ is the current leader in China.
Friendster is available in languages such as Indonesian and Vietnames. Friendster currently has 75 million registered users.
What Friendster should do with this new round of funding is hire a plethora of young developers to rehaul the current look and feel of the site. The profile pages still look very congested.