The Russian financial group Finam has agreed to invest some $5 million in exchange for a controlling stake in MirTesen.ru (“Closed World”) in Russia that develops an online social network where you can meet people based on their location on Google Maps. Finam will try to leverage its investment in MirTesen with ones into a social network Badoo and online dating service Mamba. The leading Russian social networking sites Odnoklassniki.ru and Vkontakte.ru have more than 12 million and 8 million registered accounts, respectively.
MirTesen has 320 thousand registered accounts. The site was launched in the second half of 2007. Its founders came from MoiKrug (“MyCircle”), a Russian copycat of LinkedIn business social network. MoiKrug was acquired by the leading Russian search engine and portal Yandex for rumored $2 million in April 2007.
Finam agreed to buy a 6o percent stake in MirTesen for $2 million, the business daily Vedomosti reported, and invest another $3 million over one year.
In January 2007, Finam acquired a 10% stake in a U.K.-based online social network Badoo with photo and video sharing features and over 13 million registered accounts in Latin America and Continental Europe. 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 be developed by the creators of Badoo.
The Quintura blog recently named 2007 as the Year of Social Networks in Russia.