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Troubled social networking site Friendster is set to announce some $10 million in VC funding to help it regain ground on its rivals, according to the Wall Street Journal .

The newspaper said DAG Ventures is leading the round, which also includes two of the site’s original investors, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Benchmark Capital.

Friendster reportedly plans to announce the financing later today, and to use it to re-focus on users in their 20s and 30s, rather than the younger subscribers targeted by rivals such as Myspace and Facebook.

Kent Lindstrom, president of the company, told the WSJ that the money would be spent on new technology, market research and the creation of new features.

Friendster, a trailblazer in the development of online communities, had under one million US visitors in July, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. Myspace attracted over 45 million, and Facebook just under eight million. The site remains more popular in Asia and is thought to have around 10 million users globally.

However, it recently received another boost when it was awarded a patent relating to searching for people online based on their relationships.

Lindstrom told the WSJ last month that the company's lawyers are now encouraging him to consider "taking people out from a litigation standpoint." However, it could opt for an attempt to earn extra cash through licensing fees.

Friendster was recapitalised earlier this year in a deal worth around $3m which shifted the power heavily towards the company's investors, according to TechCrunch.


Published 21 August, 2006 by Richard Maven

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