Habbo Hotel, a Helsinki, Finland virtual world/social network startup, announced a 6 million Euro round of financing today (parent company is Sulake) from Movida Group (a joint venture by SoftBank BB Corp. and Asian Groove). Previous investors include Taivas Group, 3i Group plc, Elisa Group and Benchmark Capital. This most recent round was a “substantial valuation increase” from the previous round, according to an insider.
The site features rudimentary graphics, and appeals to a very young demographic. The basic idea is a user registers and is given a “room” in the hotel. They can purchase decorations for the room (chairs, etc.) for very small fees in the range of $0.20 per item. Other users visit them in their rooms and chat. All of these small transaction fees add up – Habbo Hotel had $30 million in revenue last year.
53 million Habbo characters have been created and close to 7 million unique users worldwide visit Habbo each month (source: Nielsen Netratings, June 2006). The service is available in 18 countries.
These revenue numbers are nothing compared to what the huge MMOG’s like World of Warcraft are doing. But they aren’t trivial, either. As they evolve, becoming faster, more reactive and more interesting, they will attract a larger audience. Look for Hive7 to do interesting things in this space, too.
More on Habbo Hotel here from MobileCrunch.