Tuesday, February 3, 2009

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

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.

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