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Virtual Worlds Are So Hot Right Now: $345 Million Invested So Far This Year

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I feel like today is Virtual World Day. We started off the morning covering the public beta launch of Vivaty, then Second Life and IBM announced that they bridged two virtual worlds, and Google launched its own version of virtual worlds with Lively.

If it seems like everybody is starting their own virtual world, it is because they are. A report put out today by Virtual Worlds Management tracks $161 million put into 14 virtual-world investments during the second quarter of 2008. In the first quarter there was even more activity, with $184 million put into 23 virtual worlds and supporting technology companies. That brings the total this year alone to $345 million across 37 deals. Some notable deals (you can see the full lists by clicking on the last two links above):

Second Quarter 2008

Grockit——————-MMO Learning Game——-$8 million——-Integral Capital and Benchmark

Nurien Software——–3D social networking——-$15 million——-Northern Light, Globespan, NEA

PrimeSense————-Gestural Interface———-$20.4 million—–Led by Canaan Partners

Realtime Worlds———-MMOG Developer———$50 million——–Maverick Capital, NEA

Stanford Parallel —-Parallel Processing————–$6 million——-Sun Microsystems, AMD, Nvidia, IBM,
Processing Lab for Virtual Worlds HP, and Intel

Turbine———————-MMOG——————-$40 million————–Time Warner and GGV Capital

First Quarter 2008

9You———–Virtual World/Casual Games——$100 million——–Temasek Holdings

Dizzywood —————Youth World————— $1 million——-Shelby Bonnie, Charles River Ventures

EveryScape————— Mirror World————–$7 million——–Dace, Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Fix8 ———————- Avatar Content————$2 million ——–SK Telecom

Gizmoz ——————- Avatar Creation ———- $6.5 million——-DoCoMo Capital, ngi group

iOpener ——————–Mixed Reality ————-$6 million———Triangle Venture Capital

Sparkplay Media——Casual MMO with Games—–$4.25 million—–Redpoint, Prism Ventureworks

Unisfair ——————–Virtual Events Platform—–$10 million——-Norwest, Sequoia Capital

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