Friendster Gets New CEO, $20 Million In FundingBy: Doug Caverly - August 5, 2008
Friendster is a social network that almost never gets mentioned in the same breath as MySpace and Facebook. Googlers living in Australia are also a little distance away from what’s seen as the mainstream. Add these two things together, though – and toss in $20 million – and you have an intriguing development.
Richard Kimber, Google’s regional managing director of South East Asia, has joined Friendster as its CEO. IDG Ventures must have a great deal of confidence in his abilities as it led a new $20 million round of funding. Notable entities like Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins also contributed.
Kimber stated as a result, "Friendster is growing at an enormous rate in Asia Pacific and is clearly leading the competition. . . . I look forward to growing our business further as we continue our global growth and strong focus on Asia." All – or at least most – of his company’s focus seems to be concentrated on this region.
That’s not a bad strategy, either, as there’s plenty of money in Asia and MySpace and Facebook have yet to establish significant footholds. An effort to (re)establish Friendster in the U.S. right now might only waste cash.
So we’ll see what happens. On a global scale, June comScore data ranked Friendster ninth in terms of total traffic, total time spent, and user engagement.