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Teen virtual world Gaia Online receives $11m from IVP

Staff (Social Media Portal) - 14 July 2008

One of the most popular virtual worlds for teens, Gaia Online, today announced a cash injection of $11 million USD in Series C funding round from Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), who has previously invested in companies such as Ask Jeeves, Mobile 365 and ComScore.

Norm Fogelsong, general partner at IVP says that Gaia Online is one of the most exciting online communities they have seen and is predicting them to grow exponentially.  He comments, “The breadth of activity available on the site and the level of engagement of the users are truly extraordinary. It is a privilege to be involved with such a strong management team, one that is leading the way in virtual goods transactions.”

Gaia Online recently announced the intended launch of its massively multiplayer online game (MMO), which has been in development since 2007.  Earlier this month, the Cartoon Network announced the launch of its own virtual world, Mini Match, which is focused entirely on multi-player gaming.

Gaia Online’s chief executive officer, Craig Sherman, states that the investment will be used to continue developing Gaia Online, introduce new elements to the community and to keep up with rapid growth – the community now boasts over five million unique users.  He says, “Social networks and virtual worlds are constantly evolving as users become more involved and embedded, and at Gaia Online we are focused on bringing Gaians experiences they will not get anywhere else.”

In January 2008, Gaia Online received a "strategic investment" (of an undisclosed sum) from Time Warner.  Sherman said at the time, that there was “no shortage of things for us to work on.”

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