MoshiMonsters secures further backing, acquires TutPup

Mindcandy, best known for its MoshiMonsters educational virtual world for kids has pulled off a number of moves in a short space of time, including raising a new round and acquiring content.

Firstly, it’s raised further amount of funding, although the amount was not disclosed. It’s emerged that just before Chistmas MindCandy raised a round of Convertible Loan Notes. All its existing VC investors participated (Accel, Index and Spark), plus one new investor, who remains unnamed. CEO Michael Smith told me “I’m very happy with the deal as the cash should take us to breakeven. Loan Notes make sense because if we decide to raise another round it would be at a higher valuation than we could have achieved in December, when Moshi Monsters was still pre-revenue.”

Plus, this month Moshi has launched its subscription service – no doubt good timing. For £4.95 a month (or £35 for the year) users get a Moshi Monsters passport and can access premium elements.

Smith says this is going well enough to make them “cash flow positive on a daily basis”. In December Moshi reached one million users, boosted by early viral growth without any formal marketing so far. Moshi Monsters lets its target market of young users create and care for cartoonish monsters. IN doing so they must pass through educational tests like 60-second puzzles each day across a range of skills like maths and English.

MindCandy has also acquired the TutPup gaming site from Cominded, the company owned by Paul Birch, a co-founder of Bebo and brother to Michael Birch. The site has 350,000 registered users and allows kids to play multi-player educational ‘puzzle battles’ against each other. Try it – it’s addictive.

The plan now is to integrate it into Moshi Monsters to increase the breadth of multi-player puzzle games.

Ed Relf is also a new hire as Head of Marketing. He has previously held senior marketing roles at Codemasters Online, Virgin Games and Hasbro.