Mig33, a social network that started out on mobiles and is now moving to the web, has raised $8.9 million in third round funding led by Indonesia telecom entrepreneur Pak Sugiono Wiyono and GREE Inc., a Japanese social networking service. This brings the social network’s funding to more than $34 million since its founding in 2005. Accel Partners, Redpoint Ventures and DCM contributed to the round.
The funding is aimed at helping mig33 grow in markets where it has achieved success. The company has skipped over developed nations to focus on countries where users get their first taste of the Internet via their mobile phones. “Mig33’s goal is to replicate the East Asian Social Networking Service model to the rest of the world,” said Steven Goh, CEO and co-founder of mig33, in a release. “The partnerships we’ve established today will be strategic in helping us consolidate our lead in emerging Asia, as we tap these big, underserved markets.”
Mig33 last year switched from its previous business of selling cheap mobile voice minutes to embracing social networking on feature phones. Its more than 40 million users (it had 34 million at the end of 2009 up from 9 million at the beginning of 2008) send virtual gifts, tweet and communicate via mobiles, and the company hopes to expand the use of its desktop app in a further quest to capitalize on its brand and user base.
Related content from GigaOM Pro (subscription req’d):
- Sony vs. Microsoft: Whose Mobile Gaming Strategy Will be Better?
- Why Carriers Still Hold the Key to Handset Sales
- Report: Mobile Augmented Reality Today and Tomorrow