Techcrunch reports that social networking site Badoo has received $30m from Russian investor Finam for a 10% stake in the company. The funds are to build the service in Russia, where the social networking market has reached around 10m users in January.
Badoo’s social networking site with photo and video sharing has 12.7 million registered accounts, mostly in Latin America and Continental Europe. Badoo was launched from London in November 2006 and was the number two fastest rising search term on the Google Zeitgeist list for 2007. It will go up against several other russian sites including Odnoklassniki.ru, Vkontakte.ru and Moikrug.ru which have all attracted several million users each. And now the Russian version of MySpace, which launched only last week.
Badoo’s main pitch is that it carries no advertising, avoiding the kinds of issues Facebook had with Beacon. Instead, Badoo derives its main revenue from offering users the chance to pay to be popular. Instead, Badoo derives its main revenue from offering users the chance to pay to be popular.