Friendster has managed to survive as an independent company for seven years, but a sale of the social network to a buyer from Asia (where the site has become quite popular, especially in the Philippines) is imminent, according to a report by Reuters. The company is expected to be sold for more than $100 million by the end of the month, which frankly isn’t all that bad of a return after years of technical problems, last-ditch strategies and management changes. I imagine some of the VCs who’ve put $45 million in funding into Friendster since 2002 never expected to see their money back.
Friendster, which says it has 115 million members, has been openly shopping itself around. A potential buyer, according to Reuters, is China’s Tencent. Facebook was also interested but reportedly “was turned down due to competition and intellectual property issues.” One of Friendster’s claims to fame in recent years has been receiving five patents for its early work on social networking. The company has made rumblings about enforcing the patents, but is not currently involved in any lawsuits related to them, according to public records.