Friendster Announces New CEO and $20 Million in Funding

    Additional Funding To Be Used to Extend Leadership in Asia Pacific

    SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 5 /CNW/ -- Friendster, Inc.
(, the 9th largest website in the world based on
traffic and the #1 social network in Asia, today announced Richard Kimber as
its new chief executive officer (CEO) and a member of its board of directors.
As the new CEO, Kimber will lead Friendster's global business and guide
operations in Asia and the U.S. In addition to the appointment of Kimber,
Friendster also announced today that it has closed $20 million in funding.
    Most recently, Kimber was the regional managing director of South Asia at
Google, where he successfully led business operations and strategic
partnerships across the region. Some of Kimber's notable accomplishments
included dramatically increasing Google's revenue in the Asia Pacific region,
opening offices in Singapore and Auckland, and rapidly growing Google's
Australian and Korean businesses. Kimber has a deep understanding of the Asia
Pacific region, experience in consumer Internet monetization and strategy, and
a notable track record of managing international operations.
    Prior to Google, Kimber was the CEO for FirstDirect Bank in the UK, a
subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, the world's largest banking group. Kimber
previously served as global head of eMarketing and CEO of HSBC Internet
Payment at HSBC Bank USA. Additional experience includes roles as head of
personal eBusiness at HSBC, founder and managing director at HSBC
InvestDirect, associate director at Westpac Banking Corp., and other important
positions at leading banking establishments.
    "Friendster is growing at an enormous rate in Asia Pacific and is clearly
leading the competition. I believe this is partly because the Internet is
transforming the lives of everyone, and it will probably become one of the
greatest liberators of our time," said Kimber. "Utilizing the Internet to
connect to your friends is one of its greatest benefits, and is changing the
way relationships work globally. With more than 75 million users, it is clear
that Friendster has already made a dramatic impact. I look forward to growing
our business further as we continue our global growth and strong focus on
    Friendster recently raised $20 million in financing led by new investor
IDG Ventures, a global network of venture capital funds. The new funding will
enable Friendster to extend its leadership position in the Asia Pacific region
and continue to grow and monetize its global user base. IDG Ventures is a
strong addition to Friendster's investor portfolio, with more than 220
companies built over the last 15 years. The IDG Ventures network is comprised
of six independent partnerships managing funds in North America and Asia. In
addition to IDG Ventures, all current institutional investors made additional
investments as part of this round of funding -- Kleiner Perkins Caufield &
Byers, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures and Founders Fund. Joining Friendster's
board from IDG is Butch Reddy, general partner.
    "With the addition of Richard, Butch and the new funding, Friendster will
continue to expand its worldwide footprint and take advantage of its
leadership position in Asia Pacific," said Russ Siegelman, partner at Kleiner
Perkins Caufield & Byers and chairman of the board for Friendster. The Asia
Pacific region is an important and fast-growing region where 38 percent of the
world's Internet users are located.(*) "To continue to grow and strengthen this
position, Friendster plans to leverage the new funding to focus on user
growth, even greater user engagement and monetization, all through new
features, new offerings, localization and marketing, for the benefit of over
75 million users worldwide."
    In the last two years, Friendster has achieved an enviable track record
of success in terms of both scale and triple-digit annual growth. Globally,
Friendster now ranks in the Top 50 in the world versus all web properties in
four key metrics: 9th in total traffic (22.1 billion page views), 9th in total
time spent (8.0 billion minutes), 9th in user engagement (215 minutes per
visitor per month), and 47th in monthly unique visitors (37.1 million).(*)
    Kimber succeeds Kent Lindstrom who has led Friendster for the last 2 1/2
years through this period of rapid growth and success. Lindstrom will remain
at Friendster, will assist with the transition and will continue focusing on
key operations of the business.
    Friendster Leads in Asia -- Friendster is the #1 social network in Asia,
with over 55 million registered users and 33 million monthly unique visitors
from Asia.(*) In Asia, Friendster is almost twice the size of any other social
    Friendster, A Top 10 Website Globally -- Friendster is the 9th largest
website and the 3rd largest social network in the world in terms of traffic,
with over 22.1 billion page views a month.(*) Friendster is 1st in "user
engagement" among the top five global social networks with an average of 215
minutes per visitor per month.
    About Friendster
    With more than 75 million members worldwide, Friendster is a leading
global online social network. Friendster is focused on helping people stay in
touch with friends and discover new people and things that are important to
them. Online adults, 18 and up, choose Friendster to connect with friends,
family, school, social groups, activities and interests. Friendster prides
itself in delivering an easy-to-use, friendly and interactive environment
where users can easily connect with anyone around the world via or from any Internet-ready mobile
device. Friendster has a growing portfolio of patents granted to the company
on social networking, with more expected over the next several months.
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Friendster is backed by Kleiner
Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, IDG Ventures and
individual investors. For more information, visit:
    About IDG Ventures
    IDG Ventures is a global network of venture capital funds with
approximately $3.7 billion under management and a portfolio of over 220
companies built over the last 15 years. The IDG Ventures network is comprised
of six independent partnerships managing funds in North America and Asia. Each
partnership makes investments on behalf of its limited partners, including
International Data Group (IDG), the world's largest IT media company. With
partnerships in Boston, San Francisco, India, Korea and multiple locations
throughout China and Vietnam, the IDG Ventures network offers the
international perspective and the local market expertise to help companies
grow from start-ups to global success stories. For more information, visit
    (*)comScore Media Metrix, June 2008


For further information:

For further information: Lerin O'Neill of The Hoffman Agency,
+1-408-975-3037,, for Friendster Web Site:

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