Archive for the ‘Virtual’ Category

Second Life developer gets funded

March 5, 2007

In case you don’t already know Anshe Chung Studios, it is a Wuhan, China based Second Life property development firm. In other terms it is one of the number of services provider in Second Life from whom you can buy anything to everything virtual. According to Reuters, Anshe Chung has sold 10 percent of itself to a German venture capital firm. Exact amount of funding was not disclosed by the company. The funding round was led by European Founders Fund who had previously invested in European Facebook clone StudiVZ, which was sold early this year for $112 million.

Last week I had written about Second Life development company getting funded by CBS. Besides the funding side of things, major companies are already engaged in or planning to play a bigger role at SecondLife. This includes IBM, Reuters, HBO, CBS, Mini Cooper, Mazda, and many more. That is lot of work chasing a small community compared to what we have at MySpace or Youtube.

Anshe Chung Studios


Virtual world Gaiaonline raises millions

March 1, 2007

Gaiaonline has raised $12.01 million as part of its Series B round of funding. According to PEHub, DAG Ventures led the funding round which was also participated by earlier backers Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures. Last year Gaia had raised $8.93 million in Series A.

Gaiaonline is one of the highly successful avatar based social platform. Users can create customized profiles, get number of personalization options for their avatars from clothes to hairstyles to eyes and more, and off course make friends. Gaia Gold can get you shopping around in the virtual stores or play games. Gaia has very active discussion forums with over 1 billion posts made till date.

The new round of funding is huge for a virtual+traditional feature mix site. I think we can expect a bigger push on to the virtual side of things at Gaia.

Gizmoz to announce funding soon

February 28, 2007

Gizmoz, the service that lets users create 3D avatars, will soon be announcing closing of another funding round. I am trying to get more details on who all participated in the funding round and the amount raised. Currently the Israel based startup has couple of products under works including Gizmoz HeadMaker and an avatar based personalization widget for bloggers and social networks.

I know we have Sitepal and couple of more options, but Gizmoz feels much more fun. Virtual life seems all set to expand beyond SLs and Habbos!


CBS invests in SecondLife developer

February 26, 2007


Whether you hate or love, think it will succeed or not, user stats provided matchup or not, Virtual Worlds is here to stay. Today’s announcement of CBS investing in Electric Sheep company, developer of SecondLife, is just another fact that proves this. CBS has agreed to participate in Electric Sheep’s $7 million round of financing, which includes existing investors Gladwyne Partners. The exact amount of investment has not been disclosed. CBS has lot more play as part of this investment. CBS already has communities for couple of it’s shows at Second Life including, The L Word and for Star Trek, and filmed commercial inside Second Life to promote CBS show “Two and a Half Men.” From the ES perspective, they will be looking to use the funding to make SL platform easier to get on to and attract people beyond the geeky crowd.

Second Life goes mobile

Electric Sheep company

Second Life goes mobile

February 10, 2007

Comverse Technology has developed an mobile app that will get Second Life on mobile phones. The application works on Java-enabled mobile phones, and provides features ability to walk, chat with other users. Comverse’s Second Life also has integrated SMS and instant messaging and the streaming of mobile video directly in-world. However, the mobile client needs connection to a PC, which I think would make it a hard-sell. Besides the mobile version, Comverse is also developing an IPTV version of Second life to take advantage of bigger screens and keys on the remote. With most of the bigger domains covered how about Second Life for Wii?

All the above Second Life alternate avatars will be on demoed at 3GSM conference next week.

However Second Life is not the first to be there. Couple of months back Habbo Hotel had released their mobile avatar branded MiniFriday. Incremental changes keep coming in at MiniFriday with support for “Multiple Rooms” getting added last month.


Mini Friday – Habbo’s mobile avatar


Mini Friday – Habbo’s mobile avatar

December 26, 2006


Sulake, the Finland based company behind Habbo Hotel, has launched a mobile version of their virtual world named Mini Friday. Minifriday is a stripped down version of the actual Habbo app is projected as more of an research app into the mobile space instead of a full-blow release. You have access to few basic controls including being able to walk, chat, view chat history, and zoom. The mobile application is currently supported on the Nokia Series 60 phones(S60 2nd edition phones and N-Gages). Me on BB so didn’t get a chance to play-around.


Mini Friday