An Indian Newspaper buys a Social Networking site

Few hours back, Mint reported that Firefly eVentures Ltd, a wholly owned Internet subsidiary of Hindustan Times Media Ltd., has acquired social networking site - DesiMartini. Terms and exact price were not disclosed but is believed to be less than $10 million.

“Everything is becoming localized and as broadband penetration improves, we see phenomenal opportunity and growth in the Internet in India. This acquisition in the social networking space is the first step towards expanding our Internet base. We are exploring other new online businesses such as gaming, e-commerce and classifieds,” said Amit Garg, business head, internet, HT Media.

Desimartini, launched by Pahwa Knowledge Based Services late last year, is funded by the Pahwa group of companies and has a membership base of 250,000. It attracts around 2.5 million page views a month.

Apart from global social networking sites such as Google Inc.’s Orkut and Facebook, Desimartini competes with homegrown players such as the Bangalore-based Minglebox, Ibibo, Indyarocks and Bigadda, a site launched by Reliance Entertainment, part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubai Ambani Group.

Read VC Circle’s article on the same topic. ContentSutra has a discussion going on with regards to the acquisitions.