The Russian financial group Finam has invested some $30 million for a 10% stake in global social network Badoo to help it grow in Russia. The Russian social networking market reached over 10 million users in January 2008.
Badoo is a social networking site with photo and video sharing features. It has 12.7 million registered accounts, mostly in Latin America and Continental Europe. Badoo was launched from London in November 2006. Badoo is advertising-free, which should be why it has grown so quickly. Badoo was number 2 fastest rising search term on Google Zeitgeist list for 2007 published by TechCrunch last December.
Finam made an investment in Badoo out of its fund Finam – Information Technologies. Back in 2005, Finam bought-out a 68.5% stake in Mamba, a leading online dating community in Russia with over 9 million registered accounts, which is rumored to share the same technical founders with Badoo.
Our Q-blog recently named 2007 as the Year of Social Networks in Russia where Odnoklassniki.ru and Vkontakte are the leaders with more than 7 million and 4 million registered accounts, respectively.