2004-10-28 00:00:00 UTC
Linden Lab and Benchmark Capital aim for the Metaverse
San Francisco, CA - October 28, 2004 – Linden Lab®, creator of the acclaimed 3D digital world, Second Life®, announced today it has closed a financing round of $8,000,000 led by Benchmark Capital and with participation from Omidyar Network, a new organization led by eBay founder, Pierre Omidyar. Existing investors including software pioneer Mitch Kapor also participated in the round.
"Second Life has a vibrant community where content creators and consumers reinforce one another, ”says Pierre Omidyar. "Better experiences attract more users, which further attracts entrepreneurial developers to enrich the experience. Opportunities abound and value is determined by the community.”
"We have been blown away by the momentum inside of Second Life," said Benchmark Capital partner J. William Gurley. "While most multi-player gaming companies are inherently limited by the size of their development team, Second Life is limited only by the imagination of its users. This is clearly the most leveraged digital entertainment environment we have ever encountered." Gurley, who recently spoke about multiplayer online gaming at the Web 2.0 conference, will be joining Linden Lab’s board of directors.
"Within Second Life, thousands of people are creating what is in every sense of the word a new world. The demand for resources, servers, tools and features created by this rapid growth and heavy usage can be met with this new investment.”, said Philip Rosedale, CEO of Linden Lab. "I look forward to walking the digital streets of a place that has until now existed only in science fiction and dreams.”
Mr. Gurley joins Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development and founder of Kapor Enterprises and Jed Smith, managing partner of Catamount Ventures on the Linden Lab Board of Directors.
The Second Life Opportunity
Second Life is a 3D online digital world in which you can create, experience and become almost anything you can imagine. Residents are building everything from skyscrapers and medieval castles to games to vehicles of all kinds to clothing lines to nightclubs, in a richly immersive 3D landscape that is growing daily. Designers, entrepreneurs and developers will discover an amazing environment with real business opportunities – each month Second Life users currently buy and sell goods and services valued at over US$1 Million.
Second Life costs $9.95 to sign up and requires only a small download, allowing users to be immersed in an amazing 3D world within minutes. The software can be downloaded at www.secondlife.com.
About Linden Lab
Linden Lab was founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale to create a revolutionary new form of shared 3D experience. The former CTO of RealNetworks, Rosedale pioneered the development of many of today’s streaming media technologies, including RealVideo. In April 2003, noted software pioneer Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corporation, was named Chairman.
Based in San Francisco , Linden Lab employs a senior team bringing together deep expertise in physics, 3D graphics and networking. Team members have previously worked for market leading companies such as Electronic Arts, Maxis, Disney, THQ, Acclaim, Hasbro, Mattel and RealNetworks.
Note to editors: Second Life® and Linden Lab® are registered trademarks of Linden Research, Inc.
About Benchmark Capital
Benchmark Capital was founded in 1995 to help talented entrepreneurs build great technology companies. Benchmark's partners take a team-oriented, labor-intensive approach to venture investing to deliver a superior level of service to the firm's portfolio companies. Benchmark's portfolio includes franchise companies such as eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR) and Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT). Managing more than $2.5 billion in committed venture capital, Benchmark focuses on investing in entrepreneurs with original ideas. For more information on Benchmark, visit its web site at www.benchmark.com.
About Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network seeks out investments that are "of the people, by the people, for the people.” The Network is founded on the simple core belief that every individual has the power to make a difference. We exist for the one purpose: So that more and more people discover their own power to make good things happen. Since June 2004, Omidyar Network has funded efforts in a number of areas: Microfinance, Bottom-up Media, Open Source, Intellectual Property, Voting and Software. As we learn through partnering and investing, our focus areas will continue evolving. To learn more about us and the people we’re working with, please visit www.omidyar.net.