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Odnoklassniki.ru Russian Owners Take on Facebook With Polish Deal

Files under: News, Tech, Web 2.0
Posted by: Quintura @ 18:14 [11. 06. 08]

The European Founders Fund (the Samwer brothers) sold their minority 10% stake in Nasza-Klasa, the largest online social network in Poland with over 11 million users, to Forticom (an affiliate of DST), one of the major owners of the largest Russian online social network Odnoklassniki.ru (aka Classmates), as a part of the Forticom‘s acquisition of a 70% majority stake in Nasza-Klasa for over $90 million (PLN 200 million). Nasza-Klasa.pl was recently ranked 6th by comScore in its European web properties search ranking.

The buyers include Digital Sky Technologies, which is said to be headed by Russian Internet investor Yuri Milner, and Tiger Global fund. They both own a majority of the leading Russian online portal Mail.ru that is expected to do an IPO in 2008. Tiger Golbal also has a stake in Polish job portal Pracuj.pl.

In Russia, the Forticom owners is said to hold more than 30% stakes in two leading Russian social networking sites Odnoklassinki.ru and Vkontakte.ru. Odnoklassniki.ru reports more than 18 million registered accounts and 6 million daily users, while the Russian Facebook copycat Vkontakte.ru has over 10 million registered accounts and 4 million daily users.

As a result of the deal, the owners of two leading Russian online social networking sites will get access to over 30 million users in Eastern Europe that is emerging as a major Internet destination in the world.

In 2007, the Samwer brothers sold the leading German student social network StudiVZ, that was called a copycat of Facebook, to Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH publishing group.

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