Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, ManageEngine IT Matters, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Agile Computing

Agile Computing: Article

Social Networking Merger: MOL Global to Acquire Friendster

Combination Will Form Massive Content Distribution and E-commerce Platform in Asia for Over 100 Million Users

New Media on Ulitzer

"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 which includes games, goods, gifts, music and video," said Ganesh Kumar Bangah, president and chief executive officer of MOL Global Pte. Ltd, as it was announced this week that his company has entered into a definitive agreement under which it will acquire 100% of Friendster.

The principal shareholder of MOL is Tan Sri Vincent Tan, the Chairman and CEO of Berjaya Corporation Berhad, a leading, diversified Malaysian conglomerate that has annual revenues in excess of US$1.8 billion. Following the acquisition, the operations of MOL and Friendster will be combined to create Asia's largest end-to-end content, distribution and commerce network, pairing MOL's offline retail channel partners and payment platform with Friendster's large online footprint, social network and user community in Asia.

 "We are creating a unique company that will be well positioned to provide content to a huge, regional user base, here in Southeast Asia," Bangah added.

MOL uses the leverage of a network of over 500,000 physical and virtual payment channels across 75 countries worldwide to collect payments for content and services. Its core markets are Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and India. MOL has relationships with over 70 online game publishers that have a suite of over 200 online game titles. It also has partnerships with music, movie and video content owners and distributors across the region.

"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," said Richard Kimber, chief executive officer at Friendster. "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."

In 2003, Friendster pioneered social networking, and today is a leading web site in Asia, with over 75 million registered users and over 90 percent of daily traffic coming from the region. Asian youths have embraced Friendster and use it as their primary means of connecting to and keeping in touch with friends, self-expression, sharing content and news with friends, and as a source of entertainment. Friendster users also enjoy local music, gifting, photo sharing, online games, and using Friendster on their mobile devices. All of these are incorporated in Friendster's product suite and will be further developed over time with MOL, specifically with Asian youths in mind.

Friendster and MOL entered a global partnership in October of this year where MOL was appointed to provide an integrated payments platform, as a foundation for The Friendster Wallet and The Friendster Gift Shop, for Friendster's users. The new combined entity will now build upon that initial set of products to deliver a content distribution network and e-commerce platform, enabling a wide array of content to be distributed to Friendster's community and monetize via micro-transactions using MOL's payment platform. MOL will use the leverage of its physical distribution networks to localize and extend the online reach of social networking in Southeast Asia to the physical world through Tan Sri Vincent Tan's substantial assets across Malaysia and the region, including retail franchises in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia such as Starbucks, 7-Eleven, Borders, Krispy Kreme, Wendy's and Papa John's Pizza, just to name a few.

Friendster recently launched a new brand and web site packed with new features representing a significant milestone in the company's history and further signifying the company's evolution to focus on the Asian youth market. The notable changes include a new fun-centric brand, and a redesigned web site with a focus on local relevance, fun and simplicity.

The combined entity will maintain offices in various locations, around the world, including Mountain View, CA (USA), the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. Ganesh Kumar Bangah will become the Group Chief Executive Officer of the combined entity while Richard Kimber will become the Non-Executive Chairman.

About MOL
MOL is a MSC Malaysia Status Company that operates and develops payment systems. MOL handles over 60,000,000 payment transactions a year with an annual payment volume of over US$200 million. It leverages on a network of over 500,000 physical and virtual payment channels across more than 75 countries and linked to 65 banks in 15 countries worldwide to operate its key payment products, namely MOLePoints, an online micropayment system for content and services; MOLeTopUp, an electronic prepaid distribution infrastructure; MOL Freedom, a multi-application prepaid payment card; GamesHive, an online game payment aggregator; MOL Wings, a payment aggregator for wired and wireless internet service providers; MOL Zone, a multi-application mobile payment service; and MOL SafePay, an escrow-based payment system for micro-merchants.

MOL was recognized as one of Asia Pacific's fastest growing technology companies in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific Awards in 2005 and 2006 and has won a Merit Award for the Best of E-Commerce Applications in the MSC Asia Pacific ICT Awards.

 About Friendster
With more than 115 million members worldwide, Friendster is a leading global online social network. Friendster is focused on helping people stay in touch with friends and discover new people and things that are important to them. Friendster is one of the best sites that allow people to meaningfully participate with others in exciting and fun ways. Friendster prides itself in delivering an easy-to-use, friendly and interactive environment where users can easily connect with anyone around the world via www.friendster.com or m.friendster.com from any Internet-ready mobile device. Friendster has a growing portfolio of patents granted to the company on social networking, with more expected over the next several months. For more information, visit: www.friendster.com.

SOURCE Friendster, Inc.

More Stories By Web 2.0 News Desk

The Web 2.0 Journal News Desk keeps you up to speed with all that's happening in the world of the read/write Web and all its mushrooming new facets - from tagging, wikis, mash-ups, and image-sharing to "Advertising 2.0," podcasting, and The Writeable Web.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CHEETAH Training & Innovation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CHEETAH Training & Innovation is a cloud consulting and IT training firm specializing in improving clients cloud strategies and infrastructures for medium to large companies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and thei...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...