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Mail.ru Penetrates Russia's Online Dating Market


Worth shaking to

Mail.ru, a major portal in Russia and the country's first billion-dollar internet firm, has purchased a 30 percent stake in online dating site Mamba.

Investment group Finam sold Mail.ru the stake for about $15 million.

The Russian online dating market was valued around $21 million in 2007. Along with contender Loveplanet, Mamba holds 90 percent of that market. Unlike Loveplanet, which positions itself as an independent online destination, most of Mamba's traffic comes from partnerships with larger websites.

Mamba serves 10 million users, according to Quintura, of which 1.5 million to 2 million are online daily. Revenues were pegged at $9.2 million in the first half of '08, a 60 percent increase from the same period in '07.

About 25 percent of Mamba's user base comes from a partnership with Russian web portal Rambler, a market competitor to Mail.ru. Last month, Rambler sold contextual ad firm ZAO Begun to Google for $140 million.

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