Source Pravda.Ru

Slide closes 50 million financing round as Facebook gains popularity

By Margarita Snegireva. Social network software maker Slide Inc said on Friday it had closed a $50 million institutional financing round, marking the rising valuations of start-ups riding fast-growing Facebook's wave of popularity.

Max Levchin, its Ukranian-born and Chicago-raised founder, declined to name the investors. But sources close to the deal said they were Fidelity Investments and T Rowe Price.

Slide was begun as a project in 2004 and formed in 2005 by Paypal co-founder Max Levchin, who personally invested $1 million in the new company. The company was formed to develop and run a service users would download for their network browsers that would organize photos on their computers and post them to personal blogs.

Slide was one of the companies invited to participate in F8, the event at which Facebook announced an open platform allowing third parties to develop and operate their own software applications on the Facebook website. Several of Slide's plugin applications such as "funwall", "fortune cookie", "My Questions", "top friends", and "superpoke" became at various times among the most popular applications on Facebook.

Slide's first institutional funder was the Founders Fund, a San Francisco venture capital firm operated by former PayPal executives to invest in Web 2.0 start-ups. Subsequent investors included the Mayfield Fund, Khosla Ventures, and BlueRun Ventures.

As of late 2007 Slide's principal competitor was RockYou!,which had recently overtaken Slide's total installed user base.