Social network Multiply.com has received $5 million in funding from ABS-CBN, one of the Philippines’ largest media companies. ABS-CBN has acquired a five percent stake (or 2.5 million shares) in Multiply as a result, Business Mirror reports, with the option to invest $4 million more for a total of a 10 percent stake in the next three years. Launched in 2004, Multiply has raised $27.6 million in funding from investors including VantagePoint Venture Partners, Point Judith Capital and Japanese venture and marketing firm Transcosmos.
While Friendster is the big social media kahuna in the Philippines, it may have serious competition in 2009, as Multiply plans to use the new capital to increase its global user base, develop mobile applications, and grow its ad products. But Multiply has a steep growth curve ahead if it wants to catch Friendster, which closed a $20 million round in August, and boasts over 24 million active Filipino users. Multiply currently has just about three million.