Bahu: The Euro Facebook?

Bahu, a Paris-based private social network for high-school students in Europe, has raised an undisclosed amount of first-round funding led by the Lightspeed-Gemini Internet Lab.

 

PRESS RELEASE

Bahu ( http://www.bahu.com ), a private social networking site for young students across Europe, announced today the completion of its first round of funding. The round is being led by the Lightspeed-Gemini Internet Lab (LGiLab).

“Bahu's focus is unique compared to other social networking sites,” explains Oleg Tscheltzoff, co-founder of Bahu. “In addition to traditional features of keeping in touch or meeting new friends, Bahu focuses on promoting the specific talents of our users, who are mostly high school students. Writers, artists, musicians, models and others who join the site can create a special talents page showcasing their work. Bahu operates in most languages and plans to penetrate still untapped markets like Southern and Eastern Europe – France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Germany, Poland, and Baltic countries. Further plans include expansion into South America and Asia.

Bahu has appointed Ouriel Ohayon, General Manager of LGiLab and editor of TechCrunch France, to its board of directors. Ohayon has 11 years of experience in international mass marketing, retail marketing and the Internet industry both in multinational companies and as an entrepreneur.

Bahu aims to create partnerships with organizations across Europe that will promote their users. In France, a competition for musicians on the site will offer a grand prize of professional recording studio time, professional video clips, and live stage appearances at “Fallenfest,” one of France's largest music festivals.

“We are thrilled to back Bahu's outstanding team and work with them on realizing their goals for the company,” said Ouriel Ohayon. “While other social networking sites also offer users an outlet to showcase their work and talents, Bahu's active involvement with promoting their members will certainly give them a competitive edge and take social networking to the next level.”

Originally launched in France in July by two students, Stephane Soler and Fabien Guiraud, and backed by Oleg Tscheltzoff, co-founder and President of Fotolia.com, Bahu has already grown to over 300,000 international members in 4 months, and has expanded to the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Spain, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands, where the site is experiencing similar growth. In September, Bahu had 2 million unique visitors and 15 million page views in November.

About Bahu:

Bahu is a private social networking site for students from around the world. Created by students for students, the site helps members keep in touch with their friends and life at school and meet new online friends. Through a centralized dashboard, members can promote their talents, and access and share their online clubs, music playlists, photo and video albums and comments. Launched in August 2007, Bahu has registered over 300,000 members. For more information, visit www.bahu.com .

About LGiLab,

The Lightspeed-Gemini Internet Lab, an initiative formed by top-tier venture capital funds Gemini Israel Funds and Lightspeed Venture Partners, is dedicated to seed investment in very early-stage Internet start-ups. LGiLab also supports market validation studies and prototype development for Internet technologies, and opens doors for entrepreneurs to the Silicon Valley Internet community. Ouriel Ohayon, General Manager, leads the initiative in coordination with Danny Cohen and Tali Aben of Gemini, and Yoni Cheifetz, Jake Seid and Ravi Mhatre of Lightspeed. Additional information is available at www.LGiLab.com .