Multiverse Wins $4 Million in Funding

Multiverse, the open virtual-world building platform complete with universal browser being developed by some early Netscape employees, has just won $4.175 million in funding, according to a press release I’ve just been emailed. Congrats to Corey and the rest of the gang, who have been looking for this money for some time. The cash comes from Sterling Stamos Capital Management, and Multiverse says it will use the money to staff up and head for a launch of their product later this year or early next. (It’s already in beta.) Joanna Strober, director of Private Equity at Sterling Stamos, will join the Multiverse board.

Multiverse have to feel relieved by this development, as it was beginning to look like it was taking longer than it should for them to find this round. It’s good news for those of us interested to see what the Multiverse network of virtual worlds will look like. Perhaps more important than the launch of the platform itself is the launch of some games and virtual worlds for it, since it’s those that will draw people in. Tons of people are developing for it; we look forward to a release.

Full text of press release after the jump.

THE MULTIVERSE NETWORK COMPLETES $4.175 MILLION SERIES A ROUND

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – May 31 – The Multiverse Network, the company building the world’s leading network of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) and 3D virtual worlds, today announced that it raised $4.175 million in Series A funding. The funding was led by Sterling Stamos Capital Management – a private investment firm with over $4 billion in assets under management – and included several prominent angel investors.

Multiverse CEO and Co-Founder, Bill Turpin, and the other Multiverse co-founders who are veterans from Netscape’s early days, helped create much of the core technology that fueled the growth of the World Wide Web.

“Similar to what we experienced with the Internet in 1995, our vision today is to spark explosive growth of 3D virtual worlds,” Turpin said. “As an industry, we’re just now beginning to understand this new medium’s enormous potential. Empowered by our technology, the next wave of online pioneers will create a wide variety of virtual worlds faster and for less money than ever before.”

Multiverse also announced today that Joanna Strober will join the Multiverse Board of Directors immediately. Strober is director of Private Equity at Sterling Stamos. She has prior experience investing in early-stage consumer companies, such as BlueNile.

“We believe that Multiverse will play a fundamental role in the growth of virtual worlds and multiplayer games,” Strober said. “Based on the Multiverse team’s experience and creative vision, we believe they could become a $1 billion leader creating breakthrough applications for business, education, government and entertainment.”

Presently, over 10,000 development teams from around the world have signed-up to use the Multiverse Platform, and over 150 teams have begun building projects ranging from fantasy and science fiction MMOGs to educational worlds designed to teach users everything from math and science to the works of William Shakespeare.

Multiverse plans to use the funding to hire additional staff, complete version 1.0 of its platform, and launch its consumer network of games and virtual worlds later this year or early 2008.

About Sterling Stamos Capital Management

Sterling Stamos Capital Management is a private investment firm that invests across five major asset classes: absolute return, fixed income, equity, real assets, and private equity. With principal offices in New York City and Menlo Park, California, Sterling Stamos has over $4 billion in assets under management.

About The Multiverse Network, Inc.

The Multiverse Network, Inc. is creating a network of online video games and other 3D virtual worlds. Its unique technology platform is changing the economics of this medium by empowering development teams to create high-quality, Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) and non-game virtual worlds for less money and in less time than ever before. Multiverse solves the industry’s prohibitive challenges by providing development teams with a comprehensive, pre-coded client-server infrastructure and tools, a wide range of free content – including sample worlds for modification – and a built-in market of consumers. The Multiverse Network gives consumers a single program – the Multiverse Client – that lets them play all of the MMOGs and visit all of the non-game virtual worlds built on the Multiverse Platform. For more information about the company, please visit www.multiverse.net.

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  • Comments (5)
  1. Great news indeed. Multiverse is an exciting project. We have a person or two on our boards who have done some work with it. Our hope is that someone, of all of the people devving for it, will use the economic system to create a Real Cash Economy (RCE) virtual world. To date, we’ve yet to find any proof of that. They all seem to be closed traditional games or acedemic endeavors so far.

    Nate Randall
    RCE Universe

  2. That’s great news. We signed up with Multiverse a few months back and have been watching the progress with excitment. We are one of them “devvies” on RCE Universe who are particularly interested in the RCE potential of Mutliverse as well as new avenues to move or extend traditional social sites into virtual worlds.

    • jackson
    • June 8th, 2007

    Multiverse has one of the most terrible business models EVER. They are literally relying on hobbyists and amateur start-ups to make some of the most complex and expensive pieces of software imaginable.
    Whoever approved 4 million in funding for Multiverse needs to have their business sense
    seriously examined.

    A LOT of caution is warranted with Multiverse.

    This whole thing could have taken place in 1990 as this happened
    in MMOs before, around 1990 when the text codebases like DIKU
    started coming out. Did it allow many people to make text based MMOs? Sure.
    There are about 1,500 text based MMO’s running on a primarily text interface.
    98% of them have about 5 players and are nearly identical to each other.

    To run worlds of the size that the average hobbyist will attract, you don’t need anything more than the Neverwinter Nights toolset really.
    I can’t say I see how academics, for instance, will particularly benefit from Multiverse.
    If you just want a cheap way to create a virtual world to study, text has been available for a decade and a half.
    Yes you won’t get many users, but then, you’re not going to get many users with a nearly budget-less graphical MMO which are the only things that will be developed using Multiverse,
    and you’ll have far less content and far less depth due to the cost of producing the models/textures/animations.
    Far less ability to actually produce something interesting.

    The odds of any hobbyist developer ever producing a MMOG using multiverse that would make it to market and get published are slim to none.
    The odds of a professional developer using multiverse to develop a MMOG are 100% zero.

    Someone made a real bad investment.

    • jarodr
    • June 30th, 2007

    Wow Jackson, good thing you did actual investigation into studios who are using a helping Multiverse get their platform up and running. They do have alot of hobbyist playing with it, but there are also small and medium sized development studios actively developing on the platform, along with several Universities.

    Way to take the time to investigate information for a post!!

  3. @jarodr: I assume you’re referring to the commenter, not to the OP

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