Recession not affecting IMVU's virtual world

Chris Caceres · January 22, 2009 · Short URL:

IMVU raises $10 million

 People are flocking to virtual worlds to experience everyday interactions and conversations.  Perhaps it's the ease of not having to actually see and meet real people in person, or perhaps it's the fact that you don't have to spend much money to do it, unless you want to. 

IMVU, an online virtual world for chatting in 3D, announced today it has raised $10 million in Series D funding.  With its 30 million registered users, IMVU gains over $1 million in revenue per month.  90 percent of IMVU's revenue comes from the selling of virtual goods your avatar can interact with such as clothing, room decorations, and hairstyle products.  

Cary Rosenzweig, CEO of Palo Alto based IMVU explained that, "Raising money in the current economic climate wasn't easy. The fact that our monthly revenue was growing in the face of the economic downturn gave investors confidence in our business model." 

The investors involved in this round are Best Buy Capital, who led the funding, joined by existing investors Menlo Ventures, Allegis Capital and Bridgescale Partners. 

Kuk Yi of Best Buy Capital, who has been added to IMVU's board of directors explained, "We are happy to continue funding a media investment that does not need to rely on the struggling advertising market."

According to Cary Rosenzweig, IMVU plans on focusing the investment in two main areas.  The first being user experience-  changing its old user interface into something simpler and more accessible to its growing community.  And the second, enhancing the benefits and features it offers to its users.

While IMVU is celebrating the success of its virtual world, Google recently shut the doors of its similar service, Lively, on December 31st of 2008.


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IMVU is a consumer Internet startup in downtown Palo Alto. IMVU makes the world's greatest 3D chat, which is now in beta testing with customers around the world. The service lets users express themselves by creating and customizing a 3D avatar with a wide variety of clothes, accessories, pets, and scenes. The service has been live for several years, and it is generating a rapidly growing revenue stream from the sale of virtual currency. IMVU's culture is maniacally focused on rapidly developing and testing features and business ideas to learn from our customers what will make a great business. IMVU has top tier venture investors and an extraordinarily talented team with deep experience in games and virtual worlds.