Slide slips in with £25 million funding boost

Maker of software applications used within sites such as Facebook secures new investment as value of social networking companies continues to rise.

Slide, the maker of software applications for social networking sites has secured $50 million (25 million) in new funding as investors continue to look favourably on social networking technology stocks.

Slide makes applications that run within popular social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. It is responsible for Facebook applications including Slide Shows, Top Friends and SuperPoke.

Sources close to the deal said the investors were Fidelity Investments and T Rowe Price.

The investment follows in the footsteps of the $240 million (120 million) paid by Microsoft for a 1.6 per cent stake in Facebook, which gave the social networking site a perceived value of $15 billion (7.5 billion).

Slide was founded in 2005 by Max Levchin, the 32-year old Ukranian-born co-founder of online payments company PayPal.

Slide is among the first companies to capitalise on the success of Facebook and MySpace in becoming central stages for consumer web use, playing the role of Windows in the personal computer era or the Netscape browser in the early web days.

"We believe there is a huge opportunity to build this next set of businesses," said Levchin.

Levchin said the new cash will fund accelerated development of products and features, both on Facebook and the soon-to-be-upgraded MySpace platform, while hiring should grow from its current 65 employees to 100 this year. Acquisitions are a low priority, he said, but not out of the question.

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