Friendster Scooped Up by Malaysian Company

FriendsterLogo.jpgWas the site revamp launched by Friendster last week aimed at sprucing the social-networking site up for its new owners?

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based MOL Global, which operates and develops online payment systems, announced its acquisition of 100% of Friendster, which has a strong user base in Asia, as 75 million of its 115 million registered users are based in the region, according to CNET.

The companies announced that the combined entity will maintain offices around the world including Mountain View, Calif., and in the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. MOL president and CEO Ganesh Kumar Bangah will become group CEO of the combined entity, while Friendster CEO Richard Kimber will become non-executive chairman.

Bangah said:

The merger with Friendster will continue to transform the social-networking industry, combining a highly intuitive and successful social-media site and online-marketing channel with an integrated payment platform and content network that includes games, goods, gifts, music and video. We are creating a unique company that will be well-positioned to provide content to a huge, regional user base here in Southeast Asia.

And Kimber added:

Friendster and MOL are both industry pioneers and are close partners. This combination is a natural progression of our relationship and will be an industry-changing event. The new combined entity gives Friendster the kind of financial backing, retail distribution and e-commerce infrastructure that will enable us to accelerate our strategy and create a locally relevant, fun experience for our users in Asia, both on and offline.