Geocities founder backs gay social networking site

David Bohnett, founder of Geocities, recently invested $250,000 in the gay social website Fabulis from his Baroda Ventures fund.

Bohnett said he was a user of the site, liked what he saw and asked if he could invest, according to Fabulis CEO and founder Jason Goldberg.

Bohnett’s investment brings the total amount raised by the gay social networking site to $875,000 in seed capital.

The New York-based company will invest the funds in building out the social website. Goldberg, who previously founded tech companies Jobster and socialmedian, says that the company is not looking for additional funds. However, if circumstances change, the company would consider raising money, he says.

Goldberg says that Fabulis is earning revenue, but he declined to discuss specifics. The site offers a free basic service to users as well as premium services for users who actively participate, sign up for advertisers’ promotions and pay a fee. Advertisers include American Airlines and Disney Movie Club.

The company launched the website in the spring and now has 42,000 users, including gay men and their friends. Women and heterosexual men can also join the website. The site requires Facebook integration for signup.

Goldberg says that for now the website focuses on gay men, but in the future he would contemplate the possibility of building an extension to the website for lesbians.

Goldberg says Fabulis is not a dating site. Instead, he says it provides a place where gay men can go online discuss and share places and cities to visit and reviews of what to see there, similar to a Yelp.

Goldberg says that he came up with the idea of launching the company while he was working in Europe. When his boyfriend visited from the United States, Goldberg says he would go online to find places to go that had a gay take. Unfortunately, he found none. Goldberg told PE Week in February that the site will eventually include a location-sharing component, much like the social networking companies Foursquare or Gowalla, but he also wants the site to provide connections among friends, just as Facebook does.

PE Week previously reported that the company raised $625,000 in seed funding from The Washington Post Co. and various individual investors. In addition to Goldberg, seed stage backers include Allen Morgan, venture partner of the Mayfield Fund; Don Baer, worldwide vice chairman of Burson-Marsteller; Lars Hinrichs, CEO of Xing; and three other undisclosed investors. —Martha Sanchez-Avila