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Social Network Badoo Gets More Investment For Russian, International Push

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Social network Badoo has won more investment from Russian financial group Finam, which ups its stake in the company from 10 to 20 percent, as Yakov reports. The amount isn’t disclosed but in January last year Finam spent 750 million rubles (£15.5 million) for its 10 percent stake.

Badoo was founded in London by Russian programmer Alexey Andreev in 2006 and now claims 48 million users across the world. Its business model is largely based on micropayments from users wanting to boost their profiles’ popularity — as of last January only 20 percent of users had made those payments but Yakov reports that the site had reached operating profitability by Q3 this year.

Finam’s investment was specifically to build the site in Russia, though it has offices in 13 countries in Europe and the Americas and international traction clearly remains a key, mostly unfulfilled, ambition. Finam’s Sergey Oparin tells “During the first nine months of 2009 the company has significantly increased the number of users, while showing steady growth of revenue… it confirms the proven success (of the) model in Russia and… globally. We look forward to significant growth in business in 2010.”

There are wheels within wheels in the RuNet investment scene: Andreev is also the founder of Mamba, Russia’s most popular dating site, in which Finam bought a 68.5 percent stake in 2005, though Finam has since sold half its Mamba shares to