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Friendster, the formative social network of the modern web era that became a verb for rollercoaster failure and then took over large chunks of the Asian market, has some good news this evening.

It has raised $20 million and plucked Richard Kimber, Google’s regional managing director for South Asia, to be its new chief executive.

IDG Ventures led the round, with existing investors Kleiner Perkins, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures and Founders Fund participating.

While Friendster is the largest social network in countries like Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and other countries, it is — like most of its rivals — still figuring out how to be a big business. Kimber has experience making money for Google in South Asia. It’s not clear if that includes Orkut, Google’s social network that’s popular in India (and Brazil) or other social Google properties.

ComScore stats on Friendster, from June:

22.1 billion page views per month

215 minutes per visitor per month

37.1 million per month, 33 million of which were in Asia

[Photo via ABC.]

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