UK social networking site Badoo has received $30 million to build its service in Russia from Russian investor Finam, giving Finam a 10% stake in the company. The network will face competition from several Russian sites and from the local version of MySpace, which launched last week, reports TechCrunch. Badoo has one attribute that sets it apart from competitors in the crowd of social networking sites, though: It’s ad-free.
The network makes money with a pay-for-popularity service that lets users pay $1 or €1 to move their profile to the top of a changing list of profiles. The company says 20% of its members use the service monthly. Although relatively small with 12.7 million members, mostly in Latin America and Europe, Badoo was Google’s second-fastest rising search term in 2007.