Friendster founder Jon Abrams has raised $1 million in a Series B round for Socializr, an online social networking startup, according to a regulatory filing.
The names of the investors were not disclosed. Abrams was not immediately available for comment.
Details on Socializr are few and far between. The company has been rumored to be preparing to go live all year long. It reportedly had raised $500,000 earlier this year from private investors, according to Zoli’s blog (at www.zoliblog.com). One person familiar with Abrams’ startup described it as an improved version of Evite.
The public-facing version of the company’s website is a cartoon that lampoons the Web2.0 industry. The cartoon pictures a stick figure giving a PowerPoint presentation of the next big thing called “Everythingwecouldthinkofster,” whose features include RSS, podcasting, streaming media, pet watching and socially connected arousal settings.
Abrams previously founded the social networking site Friendster in 2002. The company raised $15 million in backing from Battery Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and individual investors. Kleiner Perkins installed its CEO-in-residence, former NBC President Scott Sassa, to run the company in 2004. He replaced Abrams, who remains on board as chairman. Sassa quit in 2005.
Friendster recapitalized earlier this year and Battery Ventures General Partner Roger Lee did not up his firm’s stake in the startup.
Friendster was an early leader in the social networking space, but it has been bleeding market share as competitors such as Facebook and MySpace have gained popularity. Yet Friendster may not need to keep up to be valuable. It won a key patent that may put pressure on its competitors. The patent covers “A System, Method and Apparatus for Connecting Users in an Online Computer System Based on Their Relationships within Social Networks.” —Alexander Haislip