Conduit Social Gaming World Gets $5.5m Round

Susan Wu, who was instrumental in arranging the Virtual Goods Summit I moderated a panel at in June, emailed me some embargoed news earlier today, and though I begged and pleaded, she asked me wait until midnight to post it. However, I see that the news is already out there, so I have to apologize to Susan and jump the gun, if only slightly: The news is that Charles River Ventures, where Susan is a partner, has just co-led a $5.5 million Series A financing of Conduit Labs, which is “building cool social entertainment destinations for you and your friends. We are bored of the same old social networks, virtual worlds, and MMOs,” according to its placeholder site. Over on Conduit’s blog, CEO Nabeel Hyatt is talking about the investment, and also tells the interesting story of how the comany got started. It’s hard to tell exactly what they’re building over at Conduit, but it sounds like a browser-based games network that’s somehow differentiated from what’s out there already. “We want to deliver a completely new kind of massively multiplayer experience — one that requires minutes, not hours, to access and learn, and one that is as rich and social as real-world activities like shooting hoops or jamming in a band. And we wanted it all in a browser, as accessible as your email,” Nabeel says. Later on, he puts Conduit “at the nexus of a lot of what’s happening on the social web, from Twitter to Areae” (which are both also CRV investments). I’ll be very interested to see what Conduit is cooking up, and whether there’s a form of “social gaming world” that could be that different from current offerings. Considering its backers, though, it’s definitely one to watch.

One comment

  1. JimmyJet Fossett

    “And we wanted it all in a browser, as accessible as your email.”

    I will be interested to try out the Conduit Labs offering.

    I also suggest checking out select video sessions from the Virtual Goods Summit referenced/linked in the original post. Great topics, and presenters (including our 3pointD host, Ms. Wu, Raph Koster, among others).

    Off-topic: SXSW Interactive 2008 Austin has just opened up an online interactive panel picker. I attended this past Spring and found it to be a great learning experience, met some wonderful people, not to mention it was a fun time. Panel listings and voting is at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/