Pan-European youth social networking site Facebox has received a EUR 5 million ($6.8 million) first investment that will see it rebranded Netlog. The round is led by Index Ventures, which announced the round, along with Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis’ Atomico plus Saul and Robin Klein of the Accelerator Group. Founded by Belgians Toon Coppens and Lorenz Bogaert in 2003, Facebox operates across eight European countries, boasts 17 million registered users and two billion monthly page views. The funds will be used to roll out additional sites and linguistic localizations in remaining European territories.
Investors are billing its reach across Europe’s multi-lingual 14-to-24 age group as a selling point to advertisers. Facebox has already been operating in the UK, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Italy and Romania. Whilst rarely mentioned in lists of social networking sites, Netlog could conceivably benefit if Europe’s non-native English speakers would rather have a MySpace experience in their mother tongue, but it will have to successfully practice Metcalfe’s Law by ensuring those people will have enough friends online to make transition to Netlog worthwhile. The renaming also avoids confusion with a certain other US youth social network.