International venture investors are backing the company behind the 3D chat community cooee GmbH
Kaiserslautern, Germany, 27.10.2010 – Cooee GmbH announced signficant new funding today, which will be used to accelerate expansion of its successful 3D chat community on top of the Windows desktop in other countries. The French venture capital firms Generis Capital Partners and Innoven Partenaires are entering this round of investment together with an angel investor and existing investor Aurelia Private Equity.
“We are already serving users in over 200 countries with 6 language versions. The capital will be used primarily to reinforce our presence in key markets and better serve the community”, said Ingo Frick, founder of cooee GmbH. Co-founder Alexander Jorias continued, “we are delighted to have attracted internationally experienced investors who provide excellent support in the upcoming expansion step with their experience and networks”.
Club Cooee (www.clubcooee.com) is a 3D chat community in which users can meet each other using self-designed moving avatars in a vibrant online 3D world, listen to music and have fun together. Chatting and making new friends is thus embedded in a lively customized 3D environment on top of the Windows desktop and supplemented by social media elements such as music, imagery and video.
Starting this October, Cooee is also a partner of Microsoft Live Messenger in Germany, from where Club Cooee can be accessed directly via the “Meet People” tab. This partnership was made possible with the support of Microsoft Germany’s high-tech startup initiative “unternimm was.”, of which Cooee GmbH has been a part since May 2009. In December 2009, Microsoft stepped up its support for the company by selecting it as one of only three German companies to participate in the global BizSpark One program. “As part of the BizSpark One program, Microsoft helped us increase our visibility, attend industry events and connect with potential partners. Among other things, this resulted in establishing contact with one of our new investors”, said managing director Stefan Lemper.
“We can see tremendous potential in the Club Cooee platform, and have been very impressed with the high quality of the user experience. Obtaining backing from Microsoft as an official addition to its instant messaging system in Germany has been a great achievement and this should help the company grow rapidly. The management team have made excellent use of their resources to date and we look forward to working with them as they build on their large and loyal existing community.” said Paul Toon, Managing Partner of Generis Capital Partners, explaining the decision to invest. Thomas Balland, Investment Director at Innoven Partenaires added “Club Cooee has managed to further develop and monetize the concept of text chatting through the sale of virtual goods. The high quality of Club Cooee’s content, its strong user base and its partner relationships will result in continued success for the company.”
Club Cooee is an international 3D chat community for Windows, which is developed and operated by cooee GmbH in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The company was established in October 2007 by Alexander Jorias and Ingo Frick together with Werner Bruckner and Markus Wiekenberg and with the financial support of Aurelia Private Equity. Jorias and Frick, two veterans of 3D game development, have created such classics as “Archimedean Dynasty” and “AquaNox”. Further information and the slick free client are available at www.clubcooee.com.
“unternimm was.” – Microsoft Germany’s high-tech startup initiative
Helping accelerate high-tech startup companies on their way to becoming successful companies is the declared objective of Microsoft Germany’s high-tech startup initiative “unternimm was.”. The initiative was launched in 2005 to strengthen the innovative force of the high-tech sector in Germany and create new jobs in dynamic areas of growth. Microsoft is convinced that high-tech startups are an important stimulus for the economy as a whole and that a vibrant start-up scene is essential to the future of Germany as an innovation leader.
About Innoven Partenaires
Innoven Partenaires is an independent venture capital firm, founded in 1997, with more than €200 million under management. Innoven Partenaires invests in France and across Europe in young companies with high growth potential in the life sciences, information technology, communications and energy / cleantech sectors. The investment team has a pro-active approach, working closely with portfolio companies, making available a broad international network, in-depth mergers and acquisitions and business development experience and a strong track record in bringing companies to IPO.
About Generis Capital Partners
Generis Capital Partners is an independent investment fund based in Paris providing flexible equity and venture debt financing to growth companies across Europe. Generis Capital Partners focuses on technology companies in the healthcare, information communication and technology, and clean technology sectors, and invests principally in businesses that are seeking to grow internationally, or in companies with existing venture backing that are seeking less dilutive forms of growth finance. The investment team has a proactive management style, and works closely with the entrepreneurs that it backs.
About AURELIA PRIVAT EQUITY
AURELIA PRIVATE EQUITY invests in innovative technology companies in Germany. Investments are made in companies involved in IT, Life Sciences and Industry Innovations that are led by outstanding management and products with a clear competitive edge. For further information, visit www.aurelia-pe.de.