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Innovation

Malaysian online payment outfit buys Friendster

MOL Global has acquired Friendster in a move that will aim to lump online payments together with social networking in Asia.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

MOL Global has acquired Friendster in a move that will aim to lump online payments together with social networking in Asia.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed (statement). Friendster has been on the block before and is one of the larger social networking players in Asia even though it's an afterthought in the U.S.

So what's MOL Global? The company is a unit of MOL AccessPortal Berhad, an online payments firm. MOL is owned by Tan Sri Vincent Tan, CEO of Berjaya Corporation Berhad, which is a Malaysian conglomerate with more than $1.8 billion in revenue.

The game plan is to lump content, distribution and content together with MOL and Friendster assets. MOL has 500,000 physical and virtual payment channels in markets like Malaysia, Singapore and India. It also collects payments for online gaming, music, movies and video. Friendster has more than 75 million registered users and 90 percent of its traffic in Asia.

MOL powers the Friendster Wallet and Gift Shop via a deal cut in October.

Ganesh Kumar Bangah will become the CEO of the combined entity. Richard Kimber will become the Non-Executive Chairman. Friendster is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures and IDG Ventures.

The combined company plans to keep all of Friendster's existing offices, including the location in Mountain View, Calif.

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