Friendster was one of the early social networks, but wound up being surpassed by MySpace and Facebook in the U.S. The fix: Keep its lead in Asia, land $20 million in new funding and hire a new CEO.
On Tuesday, Friendster said it named Richard Kimber as CEO (statement). Kimber had been the regional managing director of South Asia at Google, where he led the search giant's partnership effort. Not so coincidentally Friendster is the No. 1 social network in Asia. Friendster also closed a $20 million round of funding led by IDG Ventures, which is a heavy investor in Asia.
Friendster's other investors--Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures and Founders Fund--also invested more.
Judging from various reports (Techmeme) observers seem to be surprised that Friendster isn't dead yet, but keep in mind that Asia is a big market. And in this early stage of the social networking it would be silly to count Friendster out just yet.