Friendster Recapitalized

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Embattled social networking site Friendster, with an impressive group of investors that includes Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, BenchMark Capital and Battery Ventures, has not been able to keep up with competitors. Even so, not many companies can claim to have John Doerr, Bob Kagle, Jeffrey Katz, Tim Koogle and Roger Lee on their board.

It is a poorly kept secret that Friendster has been searching for an aquiror for some time, although obviously no one has yet stepped up the the altar.

The rumor floating around over the last week, which I’ve heard from multiple sources close to Kleiner Perkins, is that the fund has stepped in to stop a shutdown. They have injected limited additional funds (I’ve heard numbers between $5 million and $12 million) and have restructured the capitalization of the company to heavily favor their fund (this would be customary in a recapitalization). No reports as to whether BenchMark or Battery were also involved, or whether the current executive team will be looking for new jobs.

Update: More rumors, that the round was done at a $3m pre-money valuation. This is not a healthy company.

  • Allan

    If this economic downturn causes companies to seek M&A options in order to survive, could we see a combination of Twitter and FriendFeed?

    • Andy

      Friendfeed is running full steam ahead technology, innovation, and feature-wise, twitter appears to be out of steam in those areas. As long as twitter doesn’t become an albatross around ff’s neck, it could work.

      Since friendfeed is a superset of twitter, if ff were to merge with twitter, the entire twitter staff, and much of the technology, would be redundant.

  • Rob Spectre

    I really don’t understand what the hell Mark was talking about. In the babbling that preceded what may have eventually evolved into a question, Mark mentioned that he technically “knew enough to be dangerous.” I think before the call dropped off that assertion was revealed to be charitable.

    XMPP is no more fundamentally engineered to be a “real-time” protocol than HTTP. The lionshare of Jabber traffic is redundant presence overhead just as the lionshare of web traffic is connection setup and acknowledgement. The capability of either to satisfy a user need in real-time is dependent completely on its implementation.

    A protocol is not a product, and FriendFeed is a product company. Their continued attention to their products will produce effective software. Peeling that attention away to work on a protocol might produce effective standards.

    But which do you think will satisfy more users or build a stronger company?

    • Mason Lee

      Hi Rob. Agree with you about “products” being king, but not sure what you mean about XMPP not being more fundamentally “real-time” than HTTP.

      True, XMPP does send a lot of presence info, but if there’s a lot of “real time” data aside from that, the presence overhead will be relatively small vs. having to make a new HTTP request for each bit of new data. Even long-polling HTTP requires a new HTTP request be made for each bit of data.

      Steve, Brett. Love the conversation.


  • links for 2008-11-11 « 個人的な雑記

    […] Friendfeed’s Bret Taylor talks XMPP on Gillmor Gang (tags: friendfeed XMPP) […]

  • Marc’s Voice » Blog Archive » Euphoria subsiding, now its down to business

    […] I’m bummed Brett and Steve didn’t hear me start singing Funkadelics, but I was going off… Maybe next time. […]

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