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. â€“ May 31 â€“ 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 â€“ a private investment firm with over $4 billion in assets under management â€“ and included several prominent angel investors.
Multiverse CEO and Co-Founder, Bill Turpin, and the other Multiverse co-founders who are veterans from Netscapeâ€™s early days, helped create much of the core technology that fueled the growth of the World Wide Web.
â€œSimilar to what we experienced with the Internet in 1995, our vision today is to spark explosive growth of 3D virtual worlds,â€ Turpin said. â€œAs an industry, weâ€™re just now beginning to understand this new mediumâ€™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.â€
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.
â€œWe believe that Multiverse will play a fundamental role in the growth of virtual worlds and multiplayer games,â€ Strober said. â€œBased on the Multiverse teamâ€™s experience and creative vision, we believe they could become a $1 billion leader creating breakthrough applications for business, education, government and entertainment.â€
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 industryâ€™s prohibitive challenges by providing development teams with a comprehensive, pre-coded client-server infrastructure and tools, a wide range of free content â€“ including sample worlds for modification â€“ and a built-in market of consumers. The Multiverse Network gives consumers a single program â€“ the Multiverse Client â€“ 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.